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Drink and drug driving - The penalties

Drink and drug driving offences are viewed by the courts as equally serious and there is no difference in the penalties applied if you are caught and convicted.

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Anyone guilty of drink or drug driving (or failing to provide a specimen for analysis) faces:

  • A minimum 12 month driving ban
  • A fine of up to £5000
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • A criminal record
  • For a second offence, the minimum disqualification is longer.

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If you are convicted of causing a death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, you face:

  • Up to 14 years in prison
  • An unlimited fine
  • A minimum 2 year driving ban

You can find a full list of penalties for driving offences on the DirectGov website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/annex-5-penalties