What is the alcohol limit in the UK?
The BAC (blood alcohol content) drink driving limit in the UK is:
35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
WHEN CAN THE POLICE REQUIRE A BREATH TEST?
A police officer may request a breath test if one of the following situations apply-
- he has reasonable cause to suspect that you have committed, or are currently committing, a moving traffic offence
- if, having stopped, an officer has reasonable cause to suspect that the person driving/attempting to drive/in charge of the vehicle has consumed alcohol
- the police officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were the person driving/attempting to drive/in charge of a motor vehicle which was involved in an accident.
NOTE: The police officer must be in uniform when administering the test
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ROADSIDE TEST IS POSITIVE, YOU REFUSE OR CANNOT PROVIDE THE NECESSARY SAMPLE?
If any of these happen you will be arrested and taken to the police station. At the police station you will usually be asked to provide two specimens of breath for analysis (using approved evidential instruments, either an Intoximeter EC/IR; Lion Intoxilyzer or Camic Datamaster). If the two readings differ then the police must rely on the lower reading. If the reading is over the prescribed limit then you will have committed an offence and you will be charged.
You do not have a right to insist on supplying a sample of blood or urine instead. If you fail to supply a breath specimen at the station you will have committed an offence, unless you have a reasonable excuse. Being too drunk or unfit to supply the necessary breath specimen is NOT a reasonable excuse. A medical condition which prevents you from supplying enough breath for the machine to sample may be a sufficient excuse. If you have such a condition you must advise the police at the time.
The police may legitimately request that you provide a specimen of blood or urine as an alternative to a breath test, if :
- No automatic measuring device is available at the time of your arrest, or it is not working properly
- The offence involves drugs and the police officer has taken medical advice that your condition may be due to drugs
- The police officer making the request has reasonable cause to believe that breath samples should not be requested for health reasons
NOTE: if you are 'close' to the limit you have the right to ask for a second test.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If you charged you will have the charge read out to you and you will be cautioned about saying anything which may later be used in evidence. You will then be asked to sign the Charge Sheet and a copy will be given to you. You will usually then be bailed to attend at Court on a specified date.
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