Drink Driving Limits in Europe

Hiring cars abroad can often be, to say the least, a learning experience. Whether it’s learning local driving customs, driving on the opposite side of the road for the first time, or learning local laws, there’s a lot to consider. But while people tend to learn local customs as they go, learning local laws is something that you should be aware of before you get behind the wheel.

How many times have you considered local laws before you embark on a trip? Probably not many. Most people tend to assume that laws don’t differ too drastically, and in many cases, they’d be right. But when it comes to driving, it’s worth doing a bit of research to ensure you don’t get yourself into unnecessary situations. Pleading ignorance just won’t work!

Not every country in Europe has the same laws when it comes to drink driving limits

One differentiation throughout European countries is drink driving laws. It would be a huge mistake to assume this is a flat regulation, as some countries will put you in jail for having any alcohol in your system at all. You’ll be surprised to learn that the UK has one of the most lenient regulatory standards across the continent, so whatever you do, don’t assume that what’s ok here, is ok anywhere else.

Know the law before you drive in Europe

We know it can be a bit of a task to find all the information you need before embarking on that summer road trip or hiring a car with the family, so we have put together a straightforward guide detailing drink driving laws across Europe. This graphic guide will display Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC), which is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream or on the breath, according to your weight, gender and how many drinks you’ve had. BAC can be measure by blood, breath, or urine tests. The guide also displays the legal BAC limit in each country, the various penalties you can receive, and is colour-coded according to tolerance levels of each country (red is harshest; yellow most tolerant).

European drink driving limits table


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