You could be imprisoned, banned from driving and face a fine if you’re found guilty of drink-driving.

The actual penalty you get is up to the magistrates who hear your case, and depends on your offence.

You may be able to reduce your ban by taking a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course if you’re banned from driving for 12 months or more. It’s up to the court to offer this.

You may get:

  • 3 months’ imprisonment
  • up to £2,500 fine
  • a possible driving ban

You may get:

  • 6 months’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis

You may get:

  • 6 months’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a ban from driving for at least 1 year

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink

You may get:

  • 14 years’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a ban from driving for at least 2 years
  • an extended driving test before your licence is returned

You won’t automatically get your licence back if you’re a high risk offender.

Other problems you could face

A conviction for drink-driving also means:

  • your car insurance costs will increase significantly
  • if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence
  • you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA