The legal limit of alcohol in the body is 80 milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres of blood
It is an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or public place if the level of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.
The law specifically states that your alcohol level at the time of any alleged offence is presumed to be the same, or not less than, the result of the analysis of the breath, blood or urine sample.
It may be possible to challenge this if you can show that:
If the offence alleged is being 'in charge', it is a defence if you can show that there was no likelihood of you driving while you were over the limit.
The legal limit of alcohol in the body is:
On 5 December 2014 the drink drive limit in Scotland was lowered to 50 milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres of blood.
You commit an offence and risk automatic disqualification if you:
If you refuse and a court subsequently doesn't accept your reasons, it will be too late to avoid the offence of refusal.
A conviction for failing or refusing to give a sample at the police station would make you liable to an automatic disqualification.
It is an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or public place while unfit through drink or drugs.
You would be considered unfit if your ability to drive properly is impaired, even if the amount of alcohol in your body is within the prescribed limit.
Evidence of being unfit may be found, for example, in erratic driving, the occurrence of an accident, or your condition.
It is impossible to say exactly what a Court may impose in a particular case but the chart shows the maximum penalty for each offence.
Bear in mind also that conviction for a drink driving offence will affect the cost of your car insurance and may mean that you are prevented from travelling to some countries.
|General nature of offence||Maximum prison/fine||Disqualification|
|Causing death by carelsss or inconsiderate driving while under the influence of drink or drugs
||2 years minimum driving ban + extended retest before licence returned
|Driving or attempting to drive when unfit to drive through drink or drugs||
||Minimum 1 year
|Driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in breath/blood/urine||
||Minimum 1 year
|Failing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis or laboratory test||
||Minimum 1 year|
|Being in charge with excess alcohol in breath/blood/urine or while unfit through drink or drugs||
(updated 16 November 2015)
*Generally, for an excuse to be considered it must relate to a physical or mental inability to provide the sample.