How Do We Get The Message Through To Women Drink Drivers?


When was the last time you saw a woman on a drink driving campaign? Can't remember?

Neither can we!

The number of male drivers involved in drink driving collisions has steadily been falling but the figures for women have roughly stayed the same. Is the answer lowering the drink driving limit?

Lowering the Drink Driving Limit

The Police Federation are urging more women to think before they get behind the wheel after a having a drink. They say that the message of not drinking and driving is failing to get through to women, leading to the numbers of drink driving casualties and fatalities involving women drivers to not fall quickly enough.

The Police Federation would also like to see the drink driving limit brought down to be in line with the changes Scotland saw in 2014. Currently in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit is:

  • 80 mg of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood in your body
  • 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 ml of breath
  • 107 mg of alcohol for every 100 ml of urine

The changes would include reducing the legal limit for alcohol in the blood from 80 mg to 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Did the Police Make a Mistake?

Although more men than women were still being caught drink driving, the numbers of women caught were not decreasing at the same rate as the men. According to a Social Research Associates study, 17% of all drink driving convictions in 2012 involved women, up from the 9% in 1998. Unlike men, women's drinking habits are not changing and the public messages aren't getting through.

The Department for Transport have said that tackling drink driving is a priority, but if you've already been caught at the current limit, you could risk losing your licence.

Mistakes can be made in the gathering of samples, giving you a defence to the offence of drink driving, but only a qualified solicitor will be able to tell you for certain how strong your case is. The penalties for drinking driving could include anything from a fine, penalty points or a disqualification for a minimum of 12 months. You may also be required to take an extended retest when your disqualification is up.

All of these things can be devastating when you get back on the road and have to start paying the price, this applies whether you are male or female. A drink driving conviction can follow you all the way to your next job, leaving you unemployed.

Our Motoring Offences Partner, Julie Robertson has extensive experience dealing with drink driving cases where you may have a defence or a mistake was made.

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