Worldwide Drinking Limits

European drinking limits

In the run up to the winter period, the amount we drink increases a lot from normal. With pubs and markets stocking up on festive alcoholic drinks including the very famous mulled wine, along with other spirits like whiskey and brandy.

Surrounding Christmas day is Christmas Eve, Boxing day and of course, New Year’s Eve and it’s a given that the majority of people will be taking part in one night out over these cheerful few days – but do you know your limits?

Seasons like this is the time you’re more likely to be pulled over, due to the extreme amount of drink drivers. Approximately 85,000 people are convicted of drinking driving in England & Wales alone, so check below for your limit.

Zero tolerance

  • Brazil
  • Barbados
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Russia

These are just a handful of the many countries which have a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Brazil previously allowed 0.06mg/ml to be in your blood, but in 2008 they scratched this law and passed the no tolerance law, making having a glass of wine or a beer a serious offence when driving. If found driving under the influence in Brazil, the fine is based on the blood alcohol level, the higher the level the larger the fine. Suspension or jail time is also a consequence.

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • UK (Scotland)

The countries listed allow only 0.05% of alcohol per litre in your blood. If found with a higher amount, there are a range of penalties depending on the country. For example, if you’re found with over 0.05% and less than 0.08% in France, you have to pay a fine of up to €750. In Spain, if you’re found with over 0.05%, you will be sentenced to imprisonment from 3 to 8 months, fined or banned from driving from 1 to 4 years.

  • Canada
  • UK (England & Wales)
  • United States

The general limit for the United States is 0.08%, but it does vary from state to state. All states do have a zero tolerance to towards drinking under the age of 21, if found drinking and driving if you’re under the legal age, you can be suspended, fined and sentenced to either jail time or community service. In England & Wales if found drinking under the influence, you could be imprisoned, banned from driving or face a fine depending on how much alcohol you’ve consumed.

In the UK, leasing has become a very popular way of driving a car for an affordable price per month. Check out some of the contract hire deals available for cars such as the popular Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa. If those cars aren’t for you, then there are a range of lease deals available to suit you.

No limit

  • Angola
  • Ethiopia
  • Indonesia

These three countries are just a few of the countries which have no law on drinking under the influence. In Ethiopia, wearing a seatbelt is actually ‘frowned’ upon, so having a law on drink-driving is just out of the question. The highest amount of deaths due to drink driving is in fact Ethiopia, so try and stay clear of the roads if you ever find yourself there.



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