Being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol

Being in charge of a vehicle whilst unfit by reason of excess alcohol is defined as driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on the public highway or a public place whilst under the influence of alcohol exceeding the prescribed limit. Even if you are not driving the vehicle, but are in the vehicle on the public highway/public place, you can be deemed to be "in charge" of the vehicle.

The maximum penalties are:

  • 10 penalty points; and
  • discretionary disqualification; and
  • a fine of up to £2,500; and/or
  • 3 months imprisonment.

The limit

The current limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath or 80 millilitres of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. However, if the lowest reading is 39 micrograms or below, you should be released with a warning.

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