DRINK driving is to blame for far too many deaths and serious injuries on British roads every year.
Here’s all the information you need about UK laws and when the first ever roadside breath test in the UK was carried out…
PA:Press Association The Department for Transport revealed 1,380 people were killed or seriously injured in alcohol related accidents during 2015
What is the drink-driving limit in the UK?
The drink drive limit differs in the UK depending on if you are in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
Government guidelines state that the limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
In Scotland the limits are 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 22 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
With just 10mg per 100ml of blood you are 37 per cent more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than when sober.
What can affect the drink-drive limit?
There are several factors that can impact upon how much alcohol is absorbed into your blood, which can tip you over the limit.
These levels can be dependent on:
your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy) the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking what you’ve eaten recently your stress levels at the time
Getty Images If you are found guilty of drink-driving you could face an increase in your car insurance premium
How can alcohol affect driving?
Your ability to drive safely with alcohol in your system is impaired as:
The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye Processing information becomes more difficult Instructions to the body’s muscles are delayed resulting in slower reaction times Blurred and double vision may be experienced which affects your ability to see things clearly while driving You are more likely to take potentially dangerous risks because you can act on urges you normally repress
Getty Images Your drink-driving limit is dependent on your weight, sex, age and metabolism
What is the penalty for drink-driving?
Those driving the next day while still over the limit are risking a jail term of 14 years for causing death by careless driving when under the influence.
Just being caught over the limit can land you a driving ban, a £2,500 fine and even a short prison term.
The actual penalty you get is up to the magistrates who hear your case, and depends on your offence.
Here are a few examples of the penalties handed out to drink-drivers:
Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink can lead to three months imprisonment, up to £25,000 fine and a possible driving ban Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink can lead to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a driving ban for at least one year (three years if you have been convicted twice in 10 years) Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis can lead to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and driving ban for at least one year Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink can lead to 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a band from driving for at least two years and an extended driving test before your licence is returned
Other problems include:
An increase in the cost of car insurance If you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence
How many units of alcohol can you have before driving?
The legal drink drive limit cannot be safely converted into a certain number of units, as it depends on a number of factors such as gender, body mass and how quickly your body absorbs alcohol.
As a rule of thumb, two pints of regular-strength lager or two small glasses of wine would put you over the limit.
It takes around two hours for a pint to leave your system although stronger beers and ciders will take longer.
Getty Images One in eight failed or refused to take a roadside police breath test in 2015
A large glass of wine (250ml) is still in the blood for four hours and a single measure of a spirit takes just one hour.
Plus you’ll need to add on an hour for the alcohol to be absorbed into the system. So, if you have four pints and stop drinking at midnight, you’re not safe to drive until at least 9am – a bottle of wine and you have to wait until 1pm the next day.
But this isn’t a catch-all rule. As mentioned previously, factors like your weight, sex, metabolism and how much you’ve eaten all contribute to how your body processes alcohol, so everyone has different limits.
The easiest way to avoid being caught out and to ensure you’re safe behind the wheel is not to drink at all if you’re planning on driving and give yourself plenty of time the next day before setting off.
When was the first roadside breath test carried out?
The first roadside breath test was carried out 50 years ago, on October 8 1967.
In the year the breathalyser was introduced there were 1,640 people killed in crashes attributed to alcohol, but publicans protested to then-Transport Minister Barbara Castle that the new law could put them out of business.
AA president Edmund King said: “The breathalyser sits alongside compulsory seat belts and the introduction of EuroNCAP crash testing as the three biggest road safety life-saving measures introduced in the last half century.
“The breathalyser and subsequent campaigns saved thousands of lives and helped make drink driving socially unacceptable.”
The Time You Waste In Traffic Revealed – Equal To Watching 775 Game Of Thrones Episodes And Making 8,900 Cups Of Tea
BRITISH drivers spend hours each month stuck in traffic on roads around the country.
But how much time are you actually wasting by sitting in gridlock on the motorway?
Alamy The average Brit spends 31 hours each year in traffic
Go Compare have created a new tool that allows you to work out exactly how many hours you have spent staring at the back of another car throughout your driving career.
And for those of us that have been on the road for more than a decade, the results might shock you.
Based on the stat that the average Brit spends approximately 31 hours in traffic delays each year, the comparison website crunched the numbers for a 40-year-old motorist with a 23-year driving career.
They found that driver would have spent a whopping 713 hours stuck in congestion, at a cost of nearly £27,000 in wasted fuel and time.
Getty – Contributor Drivers could be spending their time do much more than just getting frustrated by gridlock
Using that same amount of time, the driver could have seen 474 games of football, made 8,913 cups of tea, or dithered away their time watching 178 coats of paint dry.
They could have completed 153 marathons, or even had a marathon TV binge and got through 775 episodes of Game of Thrones.
And even in their first year of driving alone, Brits waste so much time they could have seen 20 football matches, flown to Sydney and back one and half times, and completed almost seven marathons.
On top of the wasted time, traffic delays will cost new drivers just over £1,000 in their first 12 months on the road.
Direct Line Reveals New Car Insurance Policy That Means You Won’t Lose Your No Claims Discount If Damage Isn’t Your Fault
FEW things are more frustrating for a driver than losing your no claims discount because someone else has damaged your car.
But a new insurance policy now means that drivers can still make an claim without losing their benefit – as long as the incident isn’t their fault.
Corbis – Getty Drivers can now make certain insurance claims without losing the NCD
Car insurance provider, Direct Line, recently announced changes to their standard comprehensive insurance policies that will allow drivers to make a claim and still keep their NCD.
From damage caused by potholes and wild animals to the car being stolen or flooded, drivers will be more covered to make a claim if the damage isn’t their fault.
Motorists can even make a claim to cover damage incurred while their car is parked, or as a result of being hit by an object or debris – but not including another car.
When making a claim, you will still need to pay any excess included in your policy, but you’ll keep your NCD and your next premium won’t be affected.
Incidents that won’t affect your No Claims Discount (NCD) with a Direct Line policy
Damage caused by potholes or poor road maintenance Fire and/or theft (both contents and the car itself) Hit whilst parked Flood Hit or hit by a wild or domestic animal Hit by object or debris (excluding vehicles)
This Is The Top Reason Brits Fail Their Driving Test – And It’s Not Parking Errors
THE most common reasons for Brits to fail their driving test have been revealed – and they aren’t as obvious as you might think.
While Brits certainly aren’t known for their incredible parking skills, tricky manoeuvres weren’t the main reason drivers had to re-sit their test.
Getty – Contributor Failing to look properly at junctions is the most common reason for drivers to fail their test
A recent study, conducted by Warranty Direct, found that the most common reason new drivers would fail their practical test was because they did not properly observe the risks at a junction.
Junctions posed a number of issues during driving tests, with many motorists failing when trying to turn right at a crossroads.
Drivers were also highly likely to fail their test for not using their mirrors properly when making a turn.
While parking manoeuvres weren’t as common, reverse parking did come in third on the list, just above poor steering ability.
Top 5 most common reasons for failing your driving test
Observation at junctions Use of mirrors when changing direction Reverse park/left reverse Lack of control (steering) Turning right at junctions
Getty – Contributor The UK’s driver pass rate is improving
According to the study, 2017 had the highest driving test pass rate in the last 11 years.
The UK pass rate is currently at 47 per cent, having risen by four per cent since 2006.
The number of drivers to pass their practical with no faults has also spiked in the last year.
Just 3,329 drivers passed with a clean slate in 2006, compared to a massive 17,950 Brits last year – a rise of over 400 per cent.
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