Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Know before you go – drink drive limits whilst on holiday

I am sure that I am like most people in that when I go for a meal I like it to be accompanied by a glass of wine or cold beer. The drink drive laws in the UK allow drivers to do this and it does show that we as citizens are given a degree of personal responsibility provided that we do not go beyond the stated limited. You deserve zero sympathy if you do.

The zero sympathy attitudes has morphed into a zero tolerance policy across other countries such as Russia where this policy is now in place due to the government doubting whether its drivers could stop at only one drink. 

Although Russia is not top of the list of destinations for British holidaymakers, it is worth taking it as a sign of the hardening of laws across Europe and the attitudes towards drink driving as a problem. A sign of the changes is the request by the European Parliament of the European Commission to propose a one rule fits all policy to EU Member countries. This proposal has been followed by a policy in France requiring all drivers to carry a disposable breath tester to see if they are legal to drive.
It is worth taking a closer look at drink drive policies in countries such as Spain, Greece and France. Spain now has a 50mg limit compared with 80mg in the UK and a 30mg limit for those who have passed their test less than two years previously. In Greece, the policy is zero tolerance for those who have been driving less than two years along with people riding motorcycles. Greece imposes a 50mg limit for drivers with over two years experience on the roads. 50mg in real terms equates to one beer or one small glass of wine.

Although it could be argued that the 50mg is about right, I do think it is sensible to have lower limits on younger people and or less experienced motorists. In order to make sure that you are not on the wrong side of the law it is strongly advised to adhere to foreign laws or to simply walk to restaurants and bars that you would like to go to. Don’t let the sun go to your head and think that sangria is not very alcoholic or that four small beers don’t count!

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