Drink Driving Lawyers Convictions and Penalties

UK Drink Driving Limits & Ban Lengths

The maximum legal drink driving limit in England & Wales is 34 Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.  In Scotland the figure is 22 Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.


The below table details the guidelines magistrates use to work out the length of driving ban based on the defendants alcohol level read through breath, blood or urine sample. These are guidelines only, mitigating factors can reduce the length of ban and conversely aggravating factors can increase the length of ban.

In most circumstances for a first time offender a ‘Drink Driving Awareness Course’ will usually be given as an option to reduce the length of your ban – this usually equates to around a quarter of your ban and is set out in the table under ‘Reduction’.


Breath Test Blood Test Urine Test Length of Ban (Months) Reduction (Months) Custodial/Community Service
35-55 80-125 107-170 12 N/A N/A
56-70 71-125 126-160 18 4.5 N/A
71-85 162-195 215-260 24 6 Consider Community Service
101-115 230-264 309-354 30 7.5 Consider Community Service
116-130 265-300 355-400 30 7.5 Consider Custodial Service
131+ 301+ 401+ 36 9 Consider Custodial Service