Provisional estimates indicate that in 2016 there were 6,080 drink-driving related accidents and around 230 people were killed because of drink-driving. It’s understandable, then, why the penalties for drink driving are harsh.
If you’re caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit you could face points on your licence (which could stay on your licence for up to 11 years), a fine, imprisonment and a possible ban on driving; if it’s your second conviction for drink driving in 10 years, you could be banned from driving for three years. If you’re disqualified from driving for 12 months or more, a judge might offer to reduce the ban if you agree to take a drink drive rehabilitation course, but you’ll have to pay for the course.
If you cause death by careless driving when under the influence of drink, depending on the circumstances, you could face 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, points on your licence and a minimum two-year ban – plus you’ll have to take an extended driving test before you can get your driving licence back.
It’s also worth noting that if you refuse to take a breath test or give a sample of blood or urine, this can be treated just as severely as if you fail a drink drive test. You could face an unlimited fine, a 12-month driving ban, and even six months in prison.