You're here: Home / Alcohol knowledge centre / Drink driving

Drink driving

Drink driving in the UK is defined as the act of driving a motor vehicle (car, truck, etc.) while under the effects of alcohol. Otherwise known as Driving under the Influence [DUI] or Driving While Intoxicated [DWI], it can become a criminal offence when a subject is caught with blood levels of alcohol in excess of a legal limit.

The UK’s Blood Alcohol Concentration [BAC] limit is 0.8 milligrammes of ethanol per millilitre of blood, as set in the Road Safety Act 1967. A conviction for drink driving may not necessarily involve driving the vehicle; you can also be prosecuted in charge of a parked vehicle and/or failing to cooperate with the police in taking a preliminary roadside breath test.

As well as being against the law, drink driving in excess has also scientifically been shown to greatly increase the risk of injury to all parties on the road. Despite a steady decline in numbers of drink driving accidents, in the UK each year thousands of people are injured on the roads by drivers who drink. Therefore, measures have been and will continue to be taken by successive Governments to lower the rate of casualties and fatalities for all drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians. This includes the introduction of policies such as the High Risk Offenders Scheme, a series of state-sponsored anti-drink drive campaigns and proposals to give the police indiscriminate powers to breathalyse all vehicle drivers and riders at the roadside.

Click on links opposite to view individual factsheets, or on the image below to download the pdf: