What are the legal alcohol limits for driving?
It is an offence to drive in a public place if you are too intoxicated to have proper control of your vehicle. An intoxicant can be either alcohol or drugs, or both.
It is also an offence to drive in a public place if the level of alcohol in your blood, breath or urine is above the prescribed alcohol limit. There are different alcohol limits for experienced drivers and new drivers. New drivers are drivers with learner permits or drivers who have held a driving licence for 2 years or less, or people without a valid licence or permit.
The legal limits for fully-licenced drivers are:
· 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
· 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
· 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
The legal limits for professional, learner and novice drivers are:
· 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
· 27 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
· 9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
Gardaí can set up a roadblock to conduct random alcohol and drug testing. It is unlawful to refuse to be breathalysed, and you can be fined up to €5000, or be imprisoned for up to 6 months, or both. Penalties for drink driving vary depending on the amount of alcohol that has been detected in your system. The court will also take into account whether this is your first offence or otherwise.
All drink driving offences result in disqualification from driving for at least 3 months.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.