To Drink and Not to Drive
Perhaps it should read “to drive and not to drink”, but it does not really matter because unless you have been living on another planet, it is most unlikely that you are unaware of, if not the exact rules, then the social non-acceptance of drinking and driving.
There are some who flout it, there are some perennial abusers of the law, and there are some that are caught through error or misjudgement of their intake.
Measuring your intake is an inexact science, varying from person to person, and a number of factors having an effect.
The legal limit for drivers is set at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Intake is measured in units, with one unit roughly equating to half a pint of standard strength beer, a small glass of wine, or a pub measure (25ml) of spirit.
Therefore, a half to one pint of beer, one to two units, will read around 20-50mg/100ml. One and a half to two pints, or three to four units will read around 50-80mg/100ml, ie. The legal limit, and this is where the differences between people may show.
The concentration of alcohol in the blood will alter for a variety of reasons. It may depend on the type of drink, or the person’s weight or body mass. It could be relevant when the last meal was taken, or whether the person has developed a measure of tolerance through alcohol use.
It is also important to be aware that men generally have more blood in their bodies than women, therefore concentration levels can be different between sexes.
As far as the law is concerned, 80 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood is the defining line, although should a driver be to blame for an accident, a lower reading may bring a charge, should the courts find it relevant.
Being caught driving, or in charge of a vehicle whilst over this limit will result in a summons to appear in the magistrates court, which is probably a first for many people, and the best idea, is to obtain the best legal advice from proven professionals with track record defending drink driving successfully.
The uninitiated who would attempt to represent themselves are unlikely to find much guidance or comfort in court procedure, and would probably aggravate the court when showing the lack of legalise routine.
The appointment of a solicitor as a minimum standard of legal representation, is most important, to be the conduit between the courts requirements, legal-speak and yourself.