What You Need to Know about Drink Driving Charges
We hear stats about drink driving, and the temptation may be to envisage one, all-encompassing act/offence/charge that has the same conditions and receives the same kind of treatment no matter where you are in the country. The reality is that it’s not so black and white.
There is a range of different drink driving charges that the police can make, with these depending on what you were doing at the point of being stopped by the police, how and where. Furthermore, aside from the fact that the policing of drink driving in different parts of the country varies, so does the law: Scotland has lower alcohol limits than the rest of the country.
What are uniform, however, are endorsement codes, which describe the nature of the charge – not just for drink driving charges, in fact, but for all offences that pertain to motoring law in the UK.
These endorsement codes are formulated with, first, two letters that relate to the area of motoring law that the charge concerns. For example, codes that are prefixed with ‘BA’ describe driving offences that are made while serving a driving disqualification; codes that begin with ‘CD’ are for offences related to due care and attention or carelessness (ranging from “Driving without due care and attention” to “Causing death by driving”); and codes starting with ‘LC’ indicate an offence related to your driving licence.
Meanwhile, endorsement codes that commence with ‘DR’ pertain to drink driving offences:
DR10 and DR20 indicate that you were “driving or attempting to drive” while either over the limit or compromised because of alcohol consumption.
DR30 and DR31 mean that the police stopped you but were then unable to retrieve a blood sample from you with your consent.
DR40 and DR50 indicate that you were “in charge of a vehicle” while either over the limit or compromised because of alcohol consumption.
DR60 and DR61 show that you did not provide a blood specimen for analysis with consent in “circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive.”
DR70 means that you failed to complete a breathalyser.
A conviction for charges that correspond to the codes DR10-31 will normally result in 3-11 penalty points that will stay on record for a total of 11 years as of your conviction.
Being convicted of charges with codes DR40-61 will normally result in 10 penalty points, which will be on your record for 4 years from the time that the offence was committed.
DR70, meanwhile, normally carries 4 points.
In addition to the points penalties, drink driving convictions may result in unlimited fines, a driving ban, and/or imprisonment.
For more information on drink driving charges, penalties and related topics, visit: https://www.gov.uk/penalty-points-endorsements/endorsement-codes-and-penalty-points