Driving Under The Influence

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Phil306, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. This is a brief over view and personally Drink Drivers should be shot at dawn, and the limit should be a lot lower.

    When can the police require a breath test? Any person who is driving, attempting to drive, or in charge of a motor vehicle on the road, or in a public place (eg a pub car park or a garage forecourt), may be required by the police to provide a breath test, to ascertain whether they are over the prescribed limit of alcohol - 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath (or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood).

    The request must be made by a police officer, but note the officer does not have to be in uniform anymore to require a preliminary test (breath test), but he does have to be in uniform to administer it (unless after an accident then the police officer does not have to be in uniform for either the requirement or to administer any of the preliminary tests). The request can only be made if one of the following situations apply :-

    the police officer has reasonable cause to suspect that you have committed, or are currently committing a moving traffic offence, or
    if, having stopped, an officer has reasonable cause to suspect that the person driving/attempting to drive/in charge of the vehicle has consumed alcohol, or
    the police officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were the person driving/attempting to drive/in charge of a motor vehicle which was involved in an accident.
    So does that mean that the police can just stop your car if you are driving along and insist on giving you a roadside breath test? The answer is NO. They are entitled to randomly stop your car, but they can only insist on a breath test if they have reasonable cause to suspect you have committed a traffic offence, or have consumed alcohol (eg they can smell it on your breath), or they reasonably believe you have been involved in an accident (eg the description of your car matches that given by a witness).

    What happens if the roadside test is positive, or you refuse, or you can't give the necessary sample? If any of these happen you will be arrested and taken to the police station. At the police station you will usually be asked to provide two specimens of breath for analysis (using approved evidential instruments either an Intoximeter EC/IR; Lion Intoxilyzer; or Camic Datamaster). If the two readings differ then the police must rely on the lower reading. If the reading is over the prescribed limit then you will have committed an offence and you will be charged.

    You do not have a right to insist on supplying a sample of blood or urine instead. If you fail to supply a breath specimen at the station you will committed an offence, unless you have a reasonable excuse. Being too drunk or unfit to supply the necessary breath specimen is NOT a reasonable excuse. A medical condition which prevents you from supplying enough breath for the machine to sample may be a sufficient excuse. If you have such a condition you must advise the police at the time.

    The police may legitimately request that you provide a specimen of blood or urine as an alternative to a breath test, if :-

    No automatic measuring device is available at the time of your arrest, or it is not working properly.
    The offence involves drugs and the police officer has taken medical advice that your condition may be due to drugs.
    The police officer making the request has reasonable cause to believe that breath samples should not be requested for health reasons
    What happens if it is close to the limit? If the lower of the two breath readings at the station is 39 micrograms or below, then you should be released either without charge or with a caution. If it is between 40 and 50 micrograms, then you MUST be offered the option of providing an alternative specimen of either blood or urine (if the police fail to offer you this option then you will have a defence to the charge). You should be asked which you would prefer, but it is up to the police to decide which one they offer you, unless, again, you have a medical condition which would preclude you from providing the necessary sample. The police cannot take a blood sample without your consent, but if this is the option offered and you refuse to consent then the police can rely on the breath sample they have taken.

    If you are asked to provide urine they will ask you to provide two samples within an hour. If blood then this must be taken by a police surgeon, who will have to be called to the station.

    You have a right to have the second sample taken and you should always avail yourself of this right.

    What happens if you are charged? If you are going to be charged you will have the charge read out to you and you will be cautioned about saying anything which may later be used in evidence. You will then be asked to sign the Charge Sheet and a copy will be given to you. You will usually then be bailed to attend at Court on a specified date - ie you will be free to go and must attend Court on the date and time given. You will not usually be allowed to drive from the station (as you would most likely be committing another offence), but you are free to drive until the date of your hearing when any ban that may be imposed will come into immediate effect.

    If I get a ban can I get my licence back before the ban ends? A person disqualified for more than 2 years, may after 2 years, apply to the court that imposed the ban to have the remaining period of disqualification removed. They must appear in person and must satisfy the court that:-
    1. They have committed no further road traffic offences during the 2 year ban, and
    2. There is a good and adequate reason for the return of their licence (eg the chance of a new job, promotion, moving to a rural location and need a car [proof of successful alcohol abuse treatment may also be relevant in drink driving cases])

    These are the relevant drink driving offences

    Failing to provide a roadside breath test (Code DR70)
    Penalty - Fine - up to Level 3 (£1,000)4 penalty points on your licence
    Disqualification is at the discretion of the Court

    Driving/Attempting to Drive with excess alcohol (DR10)
    Penalty - Fine - up to Level 5 (£5,000) and/or up to 6 months imprisonment
    Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months for first offence
    Mandatory disqualification for at least 3 years for second offence within 10 years.

    Being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol (DR40)
    Penalty - Fine - up to Level 4 (£2,500) and/or up to 3 months imprisonment
    10 penalty points on your licence
    Disqualification is at the discretion of the Court

    After Driving/Attempting to drive refusing to provide samples for analysis (DR30)
    Penalty - Fine - up to Level 5 (£5,000) and/or 6 months imprisonment
    Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months for first offence (18 months tends to be the norm as you are considered to have been trying to avoid being found guilty)
    Mandatory disqualification for at least 3 years for second offence within 10 years

    After being in charge refusing to provide samples for analysis (DR60)
    Penalty - Fine - Level 4 (£2,500) and/or 3 months imprisonment
    10 penalty points on your licence
    Disqualification is at the discretion of the Court
  2. I've been extricating casualties from Road Traffic Collision for twenty seven years. Drunk driving is often the worst.
    I don't give a shit about them; it's the innocent people hurt that make me angry.
    The punishment often does not reflect the severity of the damage done.
  3. Re-stilly, a question? First, great amount of information and thank you very much. However, here in California and mosts of the US, DUI is measured by .08. Meaning, if you take a blood or breath test and you alcohol level is .08 or higher, you are presumptively guilty for driving under the influence (drink driving). The article, or your writing is quite extensive, however, it doesn't give me, the sceptic, a break down on that sort of level. Can you for me?

    No, I am NO journo. I am a police officer in the US and recently, I have been asked by friends (this is NOT my area of expertise) to talk at DUI Schools, etc. I've already done it a few times and find the average "joe" very misinformed. They do not like our laws and think they are quite excessive. Therefore, I am trying to find out what other countries do. I know Poland and other such countries have a zero tolerance for alcohol and driving. Here, people find that appalling. Although, with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) I personally beleive we are headed in that direction.

    I just need some ammo, when I am slammed, but 40+ persons, about how unjust the laws are and police officers, etc.
  4. Have a look here Blood alcohol content - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A bit down the page it gives a listing of countries and permitted alcohol levels. You will see that UK and USA have the same legal levels of 0.08% (although we use a different figuring system).
    Oh, and it's septic, by the way, as in septic tank (yank) not sceptic.
  5. Limit should be nill. I've seen the devistation it can bring. There is no excuse for driving while intoxicated (with anything).
  6. What a bastard! If I had been a Brit or a Yank I wouldn't have had to drive unlicenced for three months.
  7. Well, I don't think your nationality comes into it, more like where you are. Here in Spain, the limit is 0.05%. If I get stopped, I might use the excuse I'm a Brit so I should be entitled to go up to 0.08%. I'm sure the Guardia Civil will take that into account as they beat me over the head with their ever-so-friendly machine pistols and crush my car into a little box. Still, the plus is that if you haven't got a licence they can't really take it away from you, can they?
  8. I think they should have their cars impounded and crushed. I don't think they should be allowed to get out first.

    Selfish pricks.
  9. Ever got in the car in the morning after a few pints the night before? You might be surprised at the number of people caught that way - people who wouldn't dream of getting straight in the car after strolling out the pub.

    PS to add to the information above, cars are routinely taken from drink drivers who are caught a second time within 5 years of a previous conviction.
  10. Oh here we go again, loads of boring ******* coppers and self righteous bores are going to start gobbing off now about rescuing kittens from evil drink drivers. The best school bus driver I ever had as a kid was a raving alchy, he was mega "Scream if you wanna go faster kids!", he was a bit sluggish first thing in the morning but the afternoon run after a few stiffeners was a thing of beauty.

    Everyone knows having a few drinks helps people relax a bit and as long as you don't kick the arse out of it you'll be reet. I reckon there should be a semi sobriety driving test where you can pay to go along and compete against some brain addled grandma. Basically you have a couple of pints then have to race the granny around three laps of a test track, followed by a manoeuvring phase where you have to drive around a few cones before parallel parking. After each successful win you retire to the bar for a couple more pints, you keep going until you get outperformed by Miss Daisy. This would then give you your "Bevvy rating" which gets printed on the front of your photocard.

    That way next time I'm tootling back from the pub and the filth pull me over for a breathalyser, when he goes to throw me in the meat wagon I can announce with pride "Not so fast Officer... I hold a Bevvy Rating of 6 Stellas, now unhand me my good man... hic".

    If you want to get to the real criminal in all this don't look at the innocent driver merely trying to save a few quid on a taxi, you need to start looking a little closer to home, a man many of you probably empathise with, that you allow into the sanctity of your homes.

    Yes, I'm referring to Sheriff John Bunnell. This so called lawman is laughing at you all, profiting from the disgraceful spectacle he brings to all who watch his programmes. Feeding on the misery of others and it is YOU who allow him to do this...

    ...for shame!

    I hope you can live with yourselves.
  11. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    Look at other countries. Whilst we are being oddly draconian about it all, those easy going people in Portugal are driving to their local town for 5/6 pints, staying up until 4/5 and managing to drive home again without too many dramas. If you have an accident you are nailed to the wall, otherwise not a drama!
  12. Exactly! Personally I've caused a couple of fatal smashes when sober and luckily they've been in quiet places that I've managed to drive away from before plod got there. I've never caused a death whilst driving home pissed though, well not that I've noticed anyway.

    That's a billy bonus too, I've made note. Next time I'll wait until he has his trousers round his ankles before putting it in "D" for "Do it" and hitting the noise pedal.
  13. I won't waste the time of the forum on my views on drink driving, but I do love watching a car go in a crusher- it's primieval!

    Way to go!
  14. I once knew a Highway Patrol sergeant who wouldn't pinch a bloke for PCA unless the reading was higher than his own.....bloody legend bloke.