Drink Driving: Keeping Safe this Festive Season

Drink Driving: Keeping Safe this Festive Season

December is the month of celebrations for many of us as we head out to meet family, friends and work colleagues to enjoy the festivities. Before you head out, it is worth reminding yourself on the rules about drink driving.

Did you know?

  • Drivers in England, Wales and Scotland convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs face a minimum period of disqualification of 5 years and the maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
  • A driver could be charged with driving while unfit even if they are not over the limit.
  • The only thing that eliminates alcohol from the body is time and the average person will metabolise around 1 unit of alcohol per hour

A drink drive conviction means a mandatory driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years) which stays on your licence for 11 years.

You could also be given:

  • 6 months in prison.
  • an unlimited fine

A drink drive conviction also means

  • an employer will see the conviction on the driving licence.
  • a big increase in vehicle insurance.
  • difficulty travelling to countries like the USA

Drinking alcohol affects a driver’s eye, hand, and foot coordination. It impairs reaction time, coordination, concentration, decreases vision and inhibits judgement. The Road Traffic Act 1988 identifies that a person who, when driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs, is guilty of an offence.

The “Morning after” effect means you could still be over the limit and your driving affected the next day as it takes time for alcohol to be eliminated from the bloodstream. A good night’s sleep followed by a fry-up and strong coffee DOES NOT SPEED THIS UP!

There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, and remember the limits in Scotland are lower than the rest of the UK.

Max level of alcohol

England, Wales & N. Ireland


Micrograms per 10 millilitres of breath



Micrograms per 10 millilitres of blood



Micrograms per 10 millilitres of urine



Source: drivingforbetterbusiness.com

Towergate’s Safedrive is a delivery partner of Driving for Better Business. Safedrive is a forward thinking Risk Management and Driver Training company based in the UK.  Safedrive offers a variety of Training, Assessment and Risk Management services for commercial clients and their drivers. Safedrive assessors are spread UK-wide and can carry out training in an array of vehicles including cars, vans, HGVs, minibuses and more. 

To find out more about driver training from Safedrive, speak to your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers adviser.