A single pint and you could be banned

Tougher calls for regulations on drink driving could see drivers of vans and cars considered over the limit after drinking just one pint of beer.

The All Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse called for the clampdown on drink driving as part of ten recommendations they presented to the Houses of Parliament last month which also incorporated the introduction of health hazard warnings on alcohol drink labels and a fixed minimum price per unit being placed on all alcohol.

The overall aim of the proposal is to tackle the marketing and regulations concerning the marketing of alcoholic beverages both in supermarkets and in public houses.

So what is the current drink driving limit?

The current drink drive limit on all roads in the UK is 80mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood which is the equivalent to one and a half small glasses (175ml) of average strength wine or one and a half pints of normal strength beer.

Believe it or not this is one of the highest drink drive limits in Europe with only Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta having the equivalent limit.

The UK laws appear relatively lenient when compared with France and Germany who currently have limits of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Also for German drivers under the age of 21 years or for those who have had their licence less than two years, there is a zero tolerance policy.

What drink drive limit are the Parliamentary group proposing?

The proposal for new legislation could see the drink drive limit reduced to the same as that of France and Germany (50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood) which would firstly be applied to those drivers aged less than 21 years of age.

This is the equivalent of less than one pint of normal strength beer and approximately less than half a glass of wine.

So if you were caught drinking any more than this, expect to be criminalised under the new proposals.

The suggested regulations proposed under the alcohol manifesto also contained details of a report put together by the MPs which suggests:

  • Alcohol related incidents cost in excess of £21 billion a year inclusive of hospital admissions and drink related incident of crime.
  • 1.2 million people are admitted to hospital every year due to alcohol
  • Live disease in those under the age of 30 has doubled in the last 20 years
  • Alcohol is linked to one death very hour.

In terms of alcohol and drink driving the report also communicates that:

  • One in every six deaths on the road involves drink drivers over the legal limit.
  • Drink driving related incidents increased by 17% between 2011 and 2012.[1]

However, the drink driving report’s findings by the Institute of Alcohol Studies do suggest that in recent years, drink-drive deaths are among the lowest recorded since 1979.

The chairman of the group, Conservative MP Tracey Crouch speaking to The Express said that the proposals were a massive step in getting the government to tackle the huge public issue that alcohol was.

Among the proposals the All Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse also suggest that police should be given the power to randomly carry out breath tests even without evidence of a specific offence.

So what does this mean for you?

Currently drink driving in the UK is defined as the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the effects of alcohol, however a conviction for drink driving doesn’t have to extend to driving but can involve prosecution for being in charge of a parked vehicle when under the influence of alcohol too.

Failing a breath test by blowing in excess of 0.8 milligrams of ethanol per millilitre of blood or failing to take a breath test can result in prison sentences up to 6 months or even 14 years should death be caused. Unlimited fines with penalty points could also be placed on the driver’s licence which could even result in a driving bans.

Should the drink drive limits change under the new proposals, this could see more people being prosecuted, penalised and fined and higher insurance premiums for those convicted.

The best thing to avoid being penalised is to avoid drinking and driving completely, irrespective of the drink drive limits.


Mistakes can be made along the way and if you find yourself being penalised for drink driving, but still are lucky enough to be able to drive, we at Insure 365 will insure you.

Whether for car or van insurance, we have a network of insurers who are happy to insure you without any further financial penalisations because there is not always a valid reason for insurers to increase premiums for convicted drink drivers, particularly those who previously had a perfect driving history.

We are firm believers that you have already paid the penalty, and shouldn’t have to pay more.

If you’re a convicted drink driver and concerned about the costs of your current insurance policy then contact the team at Insure 365 today for car and van insurance.

Image Source: Institute of Alcohol Studies