Alcohol Breath Tests

Have you been asked to take an alcohol breath test but aren’t sure what for, the legal limits or if your results will result in a punishment? Here at 1Solicitors, we work with a range of clients who have taken a breath alcohol test to understand what they’re used for, and the varying penalties that can come as a result of your test.

In this guide, we’ve shared all you need to know about Police breathalysers and how they’re used in the UK legal system:

Alcohol breath test limits in England and Wales

In England and Wales, you’re allowed to drive with less than 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 micrograms of breath. This is referred to as the alcohol breath test limit and applies to every motorist, no matter their age, gender or weight.

According to, as many as 85,000 people are convicted of drink driving in England and Wales every year. It’s a very common case, and alcohol breath analyzers are used as one of the primary pieces of evidence to convict a motorist who is over the legal limit.

When do you get tested?

If a Police officer has reason to believe that you’re drink driving, they are obliged to pull your vehicle over and give you an alcohol test, such as a breath analysis. This can also happen if you’re pulled over for another type of motoring offence, such as speeding.

Breath alcohol content is measured by the amount of alcohol in your body and done by blowing air from your mouth into a Police breathalyser. The results of your alcohol test are immediate and you’ll be informed of them by the officer.

Depending on the results, you may be free to drive away or taken to your local Police station for further questioning.

What happens if you’re over the alcohol breath test limits?

If you’re found to be over the legal limit after taking breath alcohol tests, your penalty depends on how drunk you are. Anyone who has been found guilty of drink driving through a breath alcohol test can receive a driving ban of 12 months, and a fine of up to £5,000.

Refusing to take a breath alcohol test

Many motorists refuse to take a breath alcohol test – even if they haven’t had any alcohol. This is a legal offence and can see you being charged with failure to provide a specimen for analysis, for which you’ll be charged.

If there was a genuine reason why you were unable to do an alcohol breath test, you can appeal the charge against you by using a ‘special reason’. This means that there was a valid reason why you couldn’t, such as a medical condition like asthma, and will need to be proved by a medical professional.

Why choose our team?

When you work with the 1Solicitors team, it’s not just our years of experience working with alcohol breath tests that you’ll benefit from. In fact, all of our clients will receive:

  • Priority access to the country’s best barristers due to us being a nationally-recognised and reputable firm
  • A simple and clear approach to pricing, so you’re never left with unexpected fees
  • Access to our legal professionals any time of the day with 24/7 legal support
  • The chance to conduct your appointments over Skype in the comfort of your own home

Not sure what to do about your breath alcohol test result?

We understand that undertaking an alcohol test can be nerve-wracking, but we’ll help to guide you through the process.

If your breath alcohol content was over the limit or you’re wondering about your rights as a motorist, we’d love to help. In fact, we’ve assisted hundreds of clients to overcome their alcohol breath test results and penalties using our proven defence strategies!

To enquire more or book an initial appointment to discuss your options, contact our team today on 0330 053 7117 or email us. We’d love to help.


How many units is the legal alcohol limit? The amount of alcohol units that you’re able to have when legally driving depends on your gender. Generally, men can have four units of alcohol and women three.

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter where we keep you up to date with the latest changes and developments.

Follow Us Online

facebook bullet point FACEBOOK

twitter bullet point TWITTER

Piers Morgan's Twitter avatar
Piers Morgan

FFS. Can I cover the live divorce when I get back in 10 days?

Retweeted by No.1 Solicitors
No.1 Solicitors's Twitter avatar
No.1 Solicitors

Don't let the past come back to present... stay protected. #happyvalentinesday

No.1 Solicitors's Twitter avatar
No.1 Solicitors

Happy Valentines Day. Tune in to our latest talk show @StrayFM this evening

instagram bullet point INSTAGRAM

No images found!
Try some other hashtag or username