Changes to the Drink Driving Law

Changes to the Drink Driving Law

Recently the government has introduced new legislation that fundamentally changes the requirements under drink driving law. These changes have been introduced with very little fanfare and with an interesting lack of attention from the legal press. Many practitioners are not yet aware of this but it will be of particular interest to anyone who is used to arguing ‘technical defences’ before the Magistrates Court.


Schedule 11 of the Deregulation Act 2015 quietly came into force on 10th April 2015.


This has made some important changes to drink driving law, including:


  • There is no longer the ‘statutory option’ of blood or urine when the reading is under 50 [Schedule 11, Part 1, para. 1]
  • There is no longer a need for a preliminary test before an evidential test  [Schedule 11, Part 1, para. 3]


These changes to the Road Traffic Act 1988 have not yet been updated on so may not have been immediately obvious.


Here is a link to Sch.11:


As with all changes in the law it will be interesting to see how long it takes practice to catch up with the change in legislation.