Alcohol Legislation

UK Driving Limits (excluding Scotland) for a standard driving license and vehicle.

  • Blood Test - 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, 80mg/ml, 0.08 BAC, 0.8 Promille 
  • Breath Test - 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath BrAC

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Drink drive limits for professional drivers and operatives in UK

  • Blood test - 20 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, 20mg/ml, 0.02 BAC, 0.2 Promille
  • Breath test - 9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath (BrAC) 

Under the Railways Transportation Safety Bill, the UK government introduced lower drink drive limits for those working in the transport industry.

The drink drive limit for professional drivers and operatives is just 0.02% - one quarter the UK Drink-Drive limit of 0.08% and the lowest detectable level possible allowing for the residual levels that can exist in anyone whether they've been drinking or not.

The lower drink drive limits in UK also apply to pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers, train drivers, and commercial seamen.

For the most up to date advice for the UK drink drive limits visit

Scotland drink driving limit

Scotland lowered its drink drive limit for drivers on a normal driving license from 0.08%BAC to 0.05%BAC on 5th December 2014.

The limit for professional drivers in Scotland is still 0.02%BAC.

EU drink driving limits (normal full vehicle license unless stated)

Most western European countries, although not all, have a drink drive limit of 0.05, the same as Scotland. It is important to note that many of many of the eastern European countries have a zero tolerance. 

Austria 0.05%BAC (0.01%BAC license <2 years + HGV)
Belgium 0.05%BAC
Bulgaria 0.05%BAC
Czech Republic Zero
Denmark 0.05%BAC (0.00 is driving unsafely)
Estonia 0.019%BAC
Finland 0.05%BAC
France 0.05%BAC (0.08%BAC = aggravated)
Germany 0.05%BAC. The level is lower if the driver is involved in an accident. The level is 0.00 if a driver is under age 21 or if had license less than 2 years
Greece 0.05%BAC (0.02 license <2 years)
Hungary Zero
Ireland 0.05%BAC 0.02% for learner drivers, newly qualified drivers ( ie license less than 2 yrs and professional drivers, and those who do not have their driving license on them.
Italy 0.05%BAC (zero license <3 years)
Latvia 0.05%BAC (0.02 license < 2 years)
Lithuania 0.04%BAC (0.02 license <2 years)
Luxembourg 0.05%BAC (0.02 license <2 years or for professional drivers)
Malta 0.08%BAC
Netherlands 0.05%BAC (0.02 license <5 years)
Poland 0.02%BAC (0.05 = aggravated)
Portugal 0.05%BAC
Romania zero
Scotland 0.05%BAC
Slovakia zero
Slovenia 0.24%BAC (0.00 license < 2 years)
Spain 0.05%BAC (0.03 license <2 years)
Sweden 0.02 (0.10 = aggravated)
Switzerland 0.05% BAC
United Kingdom 0.08%BAC for England & Wales & Northern Ireland (0.02%BAC for professional drivers). Scotland has reduced the limit to 0.05% BAC ( legislation became effective from 5 December 2014) Northern Ireland has just undergone a public consultation regarding its drink drive limits and it is likely they will be reduced to 0.05% in the near future.
Ukraine 0.00%BAC
Zero means below detectable levels. Aggravated indicates additional penalties associated with higher BAC or associated driving offence. 

All these levels are subject to review and change, please check with the country for current legislation in operation before travelling.
 The levels are also lower for professional drivers in many countries, and also lower for inexperienced and young drivers. Switzerland for example has a zero tolerance policy for drivers that have had their license for under 3 years.

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