Drinking and Driving Laws in Other Countries

Drinking and Driving Laws in Other Countries

July 12, 2019

We know how drinking and driving is treated here in the United States. While each state is able to set its own specific punishments, the rules are pretty consistent—drive over the limit, and you’ll get in trouble.

But what do drinking and driving laws look like in other countries? Here’s a quick rundown of some notable nations and what their drinking and driving laws say. Reach out to a qualified DUI lawyer in Cincinnati, OH to learn more:

  • Australia: Australia has a .05 legal limit for BAC, and its states are able to set their own BAC limits for younger drivers. Each state also sets its own sanctions for first and multiple offenses. In the Capitol Territory, for example, fines escalate in accordance with BAC level. License suspensions also increase with BAC levels, starting with a potential three-month suspension for a BAC of .02 to .05 and going up to a three-year suspension max for BACs over 1.5.
  • Canada: Canada has a .08 limit for drivers, just like the United States. Provincial law dictates punishments for first and multiple offenses. In Ontario, for example, there are fines ranging from $300 to $2,000 for first offenses that did not cause injury. A 12-hour roadside suspension is possible for BAC over .05, but for second criminal offenses within 10 years, there will be a three-year suspension. A driver might also spend a minimum of 14 days in jail on a second offense, with penalties increasing for each offense.
  • Germany: Germany has a .05 legal limit for BAC. Any person with a BAC between .03 and .079 may be considered incapable of driving if there is evidence of the presence of alcohol in their system. Between .08 and .109 is classified as a regulatory offense, and a person with .11 or greater is considered fully incapable of driving and has committed a criminal offense. License suspension is mandatory in the criminal offense case, otherwise driving will be prohibited for several months. There is a maximum five years of imprisonment in a criminal offense.
  • Spain: Spain has a .05 legal limit for BAC. There is a fine of about $331 to $662 for first-time offenders, with a mandatory three-month license suspension, and fines and penalties scaling up for subsequent or more serious offenses.
  • United Kingdom: The U.K. has a .08 legal limit, like the United States and Canada. There is a fine of up to £5,000 (or about $8,000) for first-time offenders, though the average is £300 (or about $480). There is a possible license suspension, but it’s usually not applied for first-time offenders. In addition, there is the potential for imprisonment of up to six months, but it’s typically not applied for first-time offenders. Penalties scale up for additional offenses and offenses of a greater severity.

This gives you at least a small sense of how drinking and driving is punished in other nations. For more information, contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Cincinnati, OH at Herzner Law, LLC with your questions.

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