Be careful when drinking abroad

GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging holiday drivers to be mindful of the lower drink-drive limits in force across Europe this summer.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said, ‘The best way to stay safe and legal is by never drinking and driving, so we recommend you keep your personal drink-drive limit to zero, wherever you may be on holiday.’

The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit defines the maximum legal amount of alcohol that is permitted to be in the blood for people to drive in a particular country. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this is currently 0.08 (equivalent to 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood), while in Scotland the limit is 0.05.

Drink-drive limits across Europe, with the exception of Malta, are all lower than the UK. Many countries have a standard limit of 0.05, although in Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Poland and Estonia the limit is just 0.02. In the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia there is a zero limit.

Neil commented, ‘Around 25% of the 25,000 annual fatalities on European roads are alcohol related. Although you can legally drive in the UK at the alcohol limit of 0.08, doing the same thing in Hungary or Norway could put you in prison. Moreover, figures show that a driver with an 0.08 alcohol level will be 2.7 times more likely to crash than a sober drive.’