Holidaymakers planning on driving on their European holiday are being warned about the varying drink driving laws between countries.
Even though European countries are collectively strict on getting behind the wheel after drinking, there are varying levels of what is acceptable.
For example England and Wales are relatively lenient, with a legal limit of 0.8 grams of alcohol per litre of blood (men and women are safe, then, to drink one half pint of beer before driving, see table below. In Scotland the limit is 0.5 grams). The same legal limit applies in countries such as Malta and Gibraltar.
Holidaymakers planning on driving on their European holiday are being warned about varying drink driving laws
A table showing how blood alcohol content varies depending on the drinker’s sex, weight and number of drinks
Whereas in holiday hotspots such as Spain, the standard drink drive limit is slightly lower at 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood.
The limits are the same (0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood) in both France, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
However, in some countries such as the Czech Republic, Belarus and Slovakia, there is a zero tolerance approach to drink driving.
A table showing the legal limit for drinking driving in countries around Europe, including the UK and Ireland. Note that the legal limit in England and Wales – 0.8 grams – is higher than the limit in Scotland, which is 0.5 grams
Hungary, Romania and Ukraine also stipulate that drivers cannot get behind the wheel even after just one drink.
Any trace of alcohol in a person’s blood in these countries can result in hefty fines, a person’s licence being taken away, driving bans and even prison.
One of the more unusual laws when it comes to drink driving is in Macedonia, where anybody under the influence must sit in the back of the car and cannot travel in the front seat.
The varying drink drive laws around Europe have been laid out by car hire insurance company CarHireExcess.insure in a colour-coded infographic, which shows the limits for each country for standard, commercial and novice drivers.
It also sets out the punishments motorists could receive if they are found to have been drink driving.
Several countries including Romania and Slovakia have a zero tolerance approach to drink driving
Research by the firm found that four in five Brits do not know the drink driving limits of other European countries.
However, younger Brits are more likely to have knowledge in this area – 15 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 said they knew the limits.
This compared to only five per cent of those between 35 and 54 years old and four per cent of over 55s.
Matt Tanner, founder of CarHireExcess.insure, said: ‘Most of the online content on this topic is either dated or difficult to find, which is a cause of concern when you think about the possible consequences of drink driving.’