What are the jail penalties for drunk driving in the UK?

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In the US...

1st offense - No jail time

2nd offense- 10 days in jail

3rd offense- 1 year in jail

Many fines...totaling up to 5000 dollars for each offense and loss of license for different offenses...obviously shorter for the first time and progressively longer for 2nd and 3rd time.  3rd time is definite jail time.

2nd time says 10 days...but I know people who have not done 10 days if they went to a treatment center.

10 days jail

1 year jail

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm not sure, we don't have a tendency to jail people for driving offences, even drink drive.

    What happnes, depends on how much over you were, whether you co-operated, whether you crashed the car or injured someone.

    Any offence, even if it is your 1st, will means loss of licence for a minimum or 12 months, maybe 24 months, fine, court costs and probably community service.

    2nd time, will probably be at least a 3 year ban, heavy fine etc., maybe retake test. Medical too, to see if you're addictet to alcohol.

    3rd time, it will be pushed up from the magistrates court to the criminal court (more serious offences, heavier fines and longer prison terms). Probably 10 year ban, very heavy fines or prison sentence, compulsory retake test.

    Possibe prison setence.

    Although judges have guidelines on sentencing, there is no fixed sentence, and they can go from one end of the scale to the other, if they think there is mitigating circumstances.

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    • Posted

      Thats odd...the UK is stricter on things like HELPING alcoholics (not much help) but give lesser fines than the US.

      The US is very good at helping alcoholics which is why maybe they give stricter fines?  They may think..look buddy..theres help all around and since drunk driving results in death on may occassions my little state of Rhode Island...takes it very seriously.

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    • Posted

      The focus is on stopping it, stigmatising it, having your licence taken away, minimum 12 months 1st offence. losing job, finding it hard to get another job, whilst driving offences are not criminal, DD is, so it will be on your recors if any employer runs a check.

      You quite often have to take a medical to get your licence back, this is the same sort of test you would find in our industry, not how fit you are, but state of you, blood LFT and other tests. Because the feeling is the majority are of DDs aren't people that had a few too many at the company Christmas party, but are serial heavy drinkers who probably drink drive all the time.

      Also your car insurance at least doubles and over here, car insurance is compulsory.

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    • Posted

      Our car insurance is the ONLY thing they don't affect when someone gets a Driving While Intoxicated in the US....but the fines are crazy and they make people go to a driving course where they sit and watch videos of horrific accidents that drunk driving has caused...Its a 3 day course and it cost 500 dollars.

       

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    • Posted

      They offer you the chance to go on a driving course here, it is about £180 I think. I remember a mate that went on one, think it was four half days, one of which would be a Saturday afternoon.

      He reckoned it was a complete patronising waste of time and if the instructor actually ploughed on with it, instead of waffling and having tea breaks with biscuits all the time, it could have easily been done in a day.

      But, they give 25% off your driving ban, so it seems like most people cough up, just for the reduction and take a hit on the fee.

      But the main idea now, seems to be not fining people massive amounts, but taking their driving licence away for long periods of time, which often results in job loss and an inability to get a new job. This can cost you far more than a fine in the long run. Your insurance will double for the next 5 years. Also as I said, they seem to understand, that it is a select few with a drink problem, that are the ones that they need to target and give them medical checks before they can have their licence back.

      Basically, if you can't lay off the alcohol for a few weeks prior to your test, you're probably going to get straight back in that car after a few drinks. They told me when I was at the first Addaction (the branch I left) that they have people going into the police cells in the morning, especially at the weekend, 'touting' for business as it were.

      I have to say, if I was lying in a cell waiting to be released, kicking myself for getting done for DD and all the repercussions, I don't think chatting to a member of Addaction would be the first thing on my mind.

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  • Posted

    HI MIssy. I am no expert but it is less and 1st offense could be a ban for 3 to 12 months but it all depends on the judge and by how much you were over the limit. I will let others in UK reply more in deptch. Interesting how harsh it is in the US.All the best Robin
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    • Posted

      I always thought it should be treated with counseling punishment! LOL.

      Like 1st offense...1 month counseling and breath alyzer checks....

      2nd....6 monts counseling

      3rd.....1 year.

      Now that is the thing some people really HATE is counseling..that could be a deterent..LOL.

      Jail is too...but usually isn't enforced here until 3rd offense.

       

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  • Posted

    Hie l drink and drive in UK all the time, l know one day l will get nicked , but Missy do not drink and drive, its not good
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    • Posted

      I'm stating the obvious, but if you understand you will get caught, you understand the consequences you face.

      You can drink until you get totally bladdered, without actually driving, it just takes some fore thought. Like have plenty stasshed at home, so you never run out and have to make a beer run. Find a pub local to you that you can walk to,

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    • Posted

      If someone wishes to divulge that information, that is up to them. But I don't feel that someone should be asked that, it puts them on the spot and in an uncomfortable place.
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    • Posted

      No and i don't know why I have never been caught drunk driving.  I drank and drove for 20 plus years and with MY kids and OTHER peoples kids in the car. 

      I had a husband that I called the police on one day for being violent with me...and he told the police that I drove around drunk all the time and to STOP me and they would see.  He told them what exit I came off after work (with beer in the car).

      I continued to do it...and STILL never got stopped.  I have been very fortunate. 

      The reason I became curious about the UK and the drunk driving is because I met someone in the hospital this last time who got their 3rd drinking while driving offense and she was super nervous about the jail time.  AND I have been curious about the differences in many practices to compare the US and UK is all.

       

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  • Posted

    Missy2 have u been caught, here if u are caught the second time. It's 3 months jail, have been inside for drink and driving for2 months.
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    • Posted

      No it isn't. The only mandatory, is if you are caught twice in a space op 10 years, a minimum ban of 3 years will be given.

      The rest all depends on circumstances, how much over, did you have an accident, mitigating circustances.

      With a decent solicitor, you would be very unlucky to get a custodial sentence. A 3 to 4 year ban, a means tested fine and a hefty community service would be the likely outcome.

      Of course, if it was your second offence within 10 years and you were four times over the limit, then a custodial sentence is a possibility.

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    • Posted

      I refused a breathe test the second time, and was send to Berlmarsh prison, for 2 months, dear
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    • Posted

      I think it is like he said...you were sent to prison...probably because of the mood of the judge and the refusal to the law on the 2nd time...those mitigating circumstances.
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    • Posted

      people often spout rubbish, about what the police can do, about courts, not knowing the difference between a magistrates court, crown court and civil court.

      And whether you would have a solicitor or barrister represent you, to them it is just a lawyer, which is a very generic term.

      One piece of advice, never ever accept a caution from the police, most people think that they've been give a warning, with a note on the police computrer fro the next six or twelve months, that flags up if you do it again, that they got away with a slap on the wrist.

      What it actually means is, that you are pleading guilty to the offence in return for the police not charging you and the CPS not taking you to caught. So you actually get a criminal offence recorded against you. But even worse, because it hasn't gone threw the courts, there is no statute on when it expires, so often they are left long after on your record, than if it were a spent conviction.

      If the police had enough evidence they would charge you, the fact that they offer you a caution means they don't have enough evidence, and rely on public naivety.

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