About 5,500 people fail breath tests and are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) between 6am and noon every year in Britain, illustrating how people underestimate the dangerous consequences of driving the morning after the night before.
“Morning after” offences accounted for almost 14% of all drink driving incidents a decade ago, but that figure now exceeds 20%, according to Department for Transport data.
The consequences of being convicted of DUI are severe. You could face a minimum 12-month driving ban, a hefty fine, endorsements and up to six months in prison. Factor in the stigma of acquiring a criminal record and you begin to realise it’s really not worth taking the risk.
The “pay back” doesn’t end when your DUI ban has run its course and your fine has been paid. The Institute of Advanced Motorists estimates the average personal cost of a drink driving conviction could be as much as £50,000, taking into account increased motor insurance premiums and other costs such as alternative travel arrangements that will need to be made during your ban.
Brokers at Adrian Flux answer some of the common questions you’ve asked about driving after a night on the booze and the risks of being convicted for being DUI.
What is the DUI alcohol limit?
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
The limit for drivers in Scotland has been different to the rest of the UK since 2014. Here the limit is 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, and 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine which is more or less in line with limits set in most other European countries.
How much can I drink and still avoid a DUI?
The amount of alcohol you would need to drink to be considered DUI varies from person to person and depends upon:
- Your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
- The type and amount of alcohol you’ve drunk
- What you’ve eaten
- Your stress levels at the time
If I’ve been drinking, how long should I wait before driving?
On average, alcohol is removed from the body at the rate of about one unit an hour but this does vary from person to person.
As a rough guide, a pint of 4% beer or cider is 2.3 units, a regular glass of 12% wine is 2.1 units and a single measure of 40% spirit is 1 unit.
So if you had four glasses of regular 12% wine in the evening it would take around nine hours to leave your system, if you drank four pints of 4% beer it would take eight hours to leave your system and if you drank four single shots of 40% spirits it would take five hours to leave your system.
But remember, when drinking at home it is easy to exceed the regulation measures of 175ml of wine and 25ml of spirits.
Can you speed up the rate at which alcohol will leave your system?
Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to hasten the exit of alcohol from your system to avoid being caught DUI. Taking a cold shower or drinking black coffee or lots of water may sharpen you up, make you feel a little more on the ball, but they will do nothing to affect the alcohol remaining in your bloodstream.
If you drink spirits, beer or wine you have to take the time to let it pass through your system to avoid being caught DUI.
Can I drive the morning after drinking alcohol?
You can drive the morning after drinking alcohol but it is probably unwise to do so, and of course you must be under the legal limit of alcohol in your body. It is better to err on the side of caution and avoid consumption of alcohol if you intend to drive the following day. The best policy to avoid being caught driving under the influence is “none for the road”.
Even if you have slept well and feel perfectly fit and healthy to drive, there could still be high levels of alcohol in your system which could put you over the drink drive limit.
Do I need to tell my insurer about my DUI conviction?
You must declare your DUI conviction and any other penalty points on your driving licence to your insurance company — both current and prospective insurers must be made aware of any motoring offences as they may impact on your motor insurance quote.
If you’ve been convicted for DUI and are having trouble getting an affordable quote, contact the drink driving insurance specialists at Adrian Flux. We are confident we will be able to provide the cover you need at a price you can afford, especially if you have been quoted in excess of £2,000.
For a free no obligation quote call 0808 167 6944 — 79.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in July 2020 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided.
- Click the link if you need to reapply for a driving licence after disqualification.