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Drink driving is one of the most common road traffic offences to appear before the court in Scotland and our solicitors represent a large number of clients every year for such matters. Need to defend yourself asap against drink driving charges in Scotland? For 24/7 expert advice call us on 01292 289 584. You can also read our Scottish drink driving solicitors' guide to the subject below:-

What are the current drink driving limits in Scotland?

The current limit is:

  • 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine


If you are breathalysed and found to be over the limit then this is treated very seriously and the consequences are severe for individuals who plead guilty or are found guilty. For example, you can expect to receive a criminal record, a minimum 12 month driving ban, the possibility of losing your job and a substantial fine. Repeat offenders may even face the prospect of a short prison sentence and a driving ban in excess of three years.

'Decent members of the society can fall foul of this law'

Whilst we do not condone driving while over the limit we recognise that even hard working, decent members of the society can fall foul of this law and misjudge the amount of alcohol in their system. This is often the case where an individual enjoys a night out and leaves the car at home but then drives to work the next morning.

Defences for Drink Driving Charges in Scotland

There are however a number of the defences available to an individual facing a prosecution for drink driving.

The following list is by no means exhaustive but provides an idea of the lines of defence which may be pursued in cases of this sort:

The ‘Hipflask’ Defence for Drink Driving Offences

Sometimes, a driver may be arrested for drink driving when they have actually taken alcohol after leaving their vehicle. This is called the ‘hipflask’ defence. We can calculate what your reading would have been had you not consumed alcohol after leaving the vehicle and, using the evidence of independent expert witnesses, ensure that your defence is properly presented.

Drink Driving on Private Land in Scotland

The offence of drink driving can only be committed in a public place. Therefore, if you have driven your car or vehicle on a private road or car park, then you have not committed the offence. Some car parks are open to the public but have a limited class of users and are arguably ‘private’ meaning that the offence of drink driving cannot be committed therein.

The Necessity Defence

There is an overlap between this full defence and special reasons where there may be some compelling reason why the driver thought that he had to drive his car. Necessity is a full defence when there is a genuine fear of life or serious harm to yourself or someone else. If successful, you should be acquitted and avoid a conviction altogether.

Technical Defences for Drunk Driving Charges in Scotland

The prosecution must prove a case beyond any reasonable doubt before conviction can follow. Strict procedure must be followed by the police at all times in administering the drink driving procedure with a suspect. Failure to do so may result in acquittal. The results of the breath, blood or urine test are only admissible if the procedural requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1988 have been fully complied with in certain circumstances.

There are various types of machines that can be used to detect your alcohol level but like all machines they do go wrong. Each machine used should have what is called type approval and from a Court point of view is deemed to be working properly until it is proven to the Courts satisfaction that the machine was not working.

The legal rules relating to drink driving are inherently complex and it is vital that you seek expert legal advice at an early stage in relation to such matters.

Contact our Drink Driving Lawyers Glasgow, Inverness & Across Scotland

Contact our drink driving solicitors if you have been charged in Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Stirling, Inverness, Dumbarton, Fort William or elsewhere in Scotland for expert, trusted road traffic defence. Click here to get in touch or for 24/7 expert advice call us on 01292 289 584.

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