What Is the Legal Alcohol Limit for Driving in the United Kingdom?


Quick Answer

The legal alcohol limit for driving in the United Kingdom varies between England and Wales, on one hand, and Scotland on the other, according to the alcohol-awareness charity Drinkaware. The limit in England and Wales is .08 percent blood-alcohol content, or BAC, while in Scotland it is .05 percent BAC.

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Full Answer

The penalties for a first-time drunk-driving offense in the UK can include up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and a one-year driver’s license revocation, explains the website for the British government. A second conviction within 10 years of a prior revokes the motorist’s license for at least three years.

In 2012, drunk-driving accidents killed 280 people and injured another 1,200, notes Drinkaware.co.uk. This represents a drop in annual casualties of over 75 percent since 1979.

In 2014, Scotland reduced its alcohol limit from the UK standard in order to bring its laws in line with the rest of Europe, reports the BBC. An average of only 20 people die on Scottish roads from drunk-driving accidents each year.

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