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All About Blood Alcohol Content When Driving Abroad

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All About Blood Alcohol Content When Driving Abroad

Driving and alcohol never have anything in common. Different countries have different views on how much alcohol you can drink before you are or not allowed to drive, or rather how many parts per thousand, it may be in the blood.

The safest course is not to drink at all, but because there are differences abroad, it is in our interest to tell you what is what.

Russia, Norway, and Poland have the same limit as Sweden, that is, 0.2 per thousand, which means that most people should not drink alcohol at dinner. In Estonia, it is zero tolerance (0.0 parts per thousand).

Want a glass of wine before you drive home?

If you want to drink a glass of wine choose Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Italy, and Iceland, which are more liberal. They allow a blood alcohol content of 0.5. Even in Germany the limit is 0.5 parts per thousand, but are you a professional driver the limit is 0.0 parts per thousand. All of Canada except Quebec applies 0.5 per thousand as the limit.

US laws for drunk driving differs from state to state and are beside tricky to understand when the individual officer’s judgment weighs a lot. For drivers under 21 years it’s 0.1-0.2 per thousand which is the limit for drunken driving in all states.

The equivalent of drunk driving in the United States is “driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs”, and there is no fixed law about it. Instead, an assessment of the influence of the suspect is made and does it looks to be. 0.5 per thousand and above you’re going to jail.

In Ohio and Californa drunk drivers could be sentenced to driving with a mandatory sign of the registration plate of all vehicles belonging to the household. A good way to warn other motorists?

UK (except Scotland), Liechtenstein, Mexico, Malta and Quebec in Canada have a legal BAC limit of up to 0.8. Scotland has now lowered their limit to 0.5 per thousand.

Countries that completely lacks legislation on drinking and driving is Congo, Ethiopia, Togo, Dominican Republic, Angola, Comoros, and Laos.

Otherwise, the highest limit found is 0.8 per thousand. In most Muslim countries, there is zero tolerance.

The Czech Republic and Romania also apply 0.0 per thousand as the limit. In Slovenia, those who had a driving license for more than two years could get away with up to 0.24 per thousand in the blood and for the other its 0.0 per thousand.

Hungary applies zero tolerance, that is, 0.0 per thousand.

The list below is intended as an indication of BAC limits in other countries. Always double check exceptions in the country you are driving in.

Countries with zero tolerance – 0.0 per mille

  • Czech
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Romania
  • Italy – Drivers under 21 years
  • Lithuania – Drivers who held a driving license for over a period of two years

Outside Europe

  • Austrailia – For those with new license
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada – Variations occur
  • Colombia
  • Fiji
  • Israel – Virtually zero tolerance
  • Japan – Drivers under 20 years
  • New Zealand – Drivers under 20 years
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Uruguay
  • United Arab Minaret
  • USA – Drivers under 21 years

Countries with 0.2 per mille

  • Netherlands (drivers who had a driving license less than 5 years)
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine

Outside Europe

  • China
  • Puerto Rico

Countries with 0.3 per mille

  • Belarus
  • Bosnia
  • Serbia
  • Russia

Outside Europe

  • Chile
  • India
  • Japan

Countries with 0.4 per mille

  • Lithuania

Countries with 0.5 per thousand – the most common border

  • Austria (0.8 per thousand for cyclists)
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland (drivers with license freshly collected 0.2 per mille)
  • Italy (see exception above)
  • Latvia (for drivers with license for at least 2 years)
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Scotland
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

Outside Europe

  • Argentina
  • Australia – With the exception
  • Canada – With the exception
  • Costa Rica
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Turkey

Countries with 0.6 per thousand

  • Bahamas

Countries with 0.7 per thousand

  • Honduras

Countries with 0.8 per thousand

  • England and Wales
  • Malta
  • Northern Ireland

Outside Europe

  • Canada (Quebec province)
  • Malaysia
  • Puerto Rico (+21 years)
  • Singapore
  • USA – plenty of exceptions depending on state

Countries with 1.0 per thousand

  • Cayman Islands

Do you miss any country or is something wrong? Please write a comment below.

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