UK Motorists Warned Of Lower Drink Drive Limits Abroad

Dont get caught short abroad
Dont get caught short abroad

Friday, 12, Jul 2019 12:07

William Coleman

Being out in the caravan seems to go hand in hand with having a nice beer or a glass of wine sat in the sunshine with friends and family. But as we all know drinking and driving is not the best combination. So if you are going abroad with the van this summer here are some changes to drink driving laws you may want to read up on.

We Brits do love taking the ferry over to Europe to get some much deserved sunshine during the summer months, but be warned the laws have changed as to how many tipples you can have before getting behind the wheel.

Statistics show that you are more likely to get to be caught drink driving while on holiday in Europe. Some say it is because local police are on the lookout for UK plates whereas others say that its the following morning where most people get caught out.

I will openly admit that after an evening of festivities and a pretty good nights sleep I have no issues or reservations about getting showered, dressed then behind the wheel. But it is actually likely, in some cases, that you will still be technically over the limit.

The drink driving limits we have here in the UK are a lot lower in places all across Europe, with the exception of Malta. So it is easy to think you're ok to drive whereas the local law may say something quite different.

The English and Welsh limit is 0.8mg of alcohol per mL of blood (0.80?BAC). However in most European countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain - as well as Scotland and the Republic of Ireland - the limit is 0.5mg (0.50?BAC). Such a small difference but can make a massive impact the an outcome should you get stopped.

It's even lower in Poland, Norway and Sweden at 0.2mg (0.20?BAC). And in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Russia there's zero tolerance.

With France, Germany, Italy and Spain being of our favourite destinations to take the caravan you can see why the police may be on the lookout for UK drivers when it comes to having a beer then getting behind the wheel.

"Taking a personal breathalyser with you on holiday removes the guesswork about whether you're clear of alcohol," comments Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense Laboratories.

"It's far easier than you think to still be under the influence the morning after a few drinks the night before. If you drank four pints of medium-strong beer or four large glasses of wine, it could take as long as 14 hours for the alcohol to clear your system.

"This is especially important when extra care must be taken driving on the opposite side of the road".

While being abroad you are also a lot more likely to be stopped and breathalysed by the police, according to some industry numbers released last year.

In Estonia, an astonishing 677 out of every 1000 inhabitants are breath tested each year. The figure for Poland is 466, Finland is 279, Austria is 189 and France is 152 per 1000. So as you can see this is not a simple matter of getting some kip and then carrying on your trip, accidental rhyme there.

There is a handy way to avoid getting caught up in all this different alcohol level confusion. Get yourself a breathalyser. Imagine a little device that you can switch the location on and then tested against said locations drink living laws. Simple and effective.

The AlcoSense Excel breathalyser can be adjusted by the user to any limit worldwide, whilst the AlcoSense Pro comes with a pre-loaded database of European, US and Australian limits.

One ruling that everyone should be aware of when driving in France is that you are obligated by law to carry a single use breathalyser in your car that is NF approved (the French version of the British Standard Kite Mark). If you do not have one you will find yourself in hot water so pop down to Halfords as they always seem to have them in stock.

This is in addition to high viz jackets for each occupant of the car; a warning triangle; spare bulbs; a GB sticker; and headlamp beam deflectors - all of which carry fines for non-compliance.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Travelworld And A Life Saving Partnership

Travelworld have a brand new additional extra

Usually an illness can sneak up on you when you least expect it, and usually when you are nowhere near a medical professional, so why not equip your motorhome with some life saving tech. Two companies have come together to help ensure you have the life saving tools to hand when on holiday.

A Starter Kit For Beginners

We give our thoughts on what is needed for a first time trip

The leisure vehicle industry is going through another golden age and we are seeing a lot of new blood enter the motorhome and caravan world. We all remember starting but did we remember to pack everything on our first trip away?

For Sale

Burstner Nexxo t720 - 2012 - £44995

Burnster Nexxo t720

Low Low profile chasis motorhome

Rapido A-Class 999M - 2009 - £54995

Rapido A class 999M

This flagship Rapido model is based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis (very rare) with the fantastic Mercedes 3.

Monaco Knight 38 PDQ - 2006 - £79995

x

THE most practical RV layout ever on the market with four slide out rooms, full cream leather interior and light oak cabinetry creates even greater feeling of space.

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69 PL (auto) - 2011 - £61995

Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 69 PL

One of the best build qualities in the industry including aluminium sandwich construction, deep double floor and front electric thermo windscreen blind make this motorhome fully winterised.

Benimar Tessoro Part 1: The 483 Full Test

The Tessoro 483 is built on a 170BHP Ford

At CaravanTimes we recently had a Benimar Tessoro 483 on test for a couple of weeks. We have done just over 2000 miles in the Tessoro and tested in various ways - as you will find out in our inspiration features coming up. But before we give you some ideas of where and why you should use a motorhome like the Tessoro we wanted to bring some information on the Tessoro range and the very interesting 483.

Bristanbul Video Documentary Part 1

Part one of the documentary is here

So as most of our readers will know, the CaravanTimes team were lucky enough to be part of Bailey of Bristols, Bristol to the Bosphoros trip. Travelling 21 countries in 21 days the team did a fantastic job to take the 2 caravans and motorhome cross-continental.

In pictures: testing the new Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 to the extreme

Caravan Times' Favourite Adventure Couple, Simon & Faye, CHeck out the new Autotrail V-line

This weekend however, we decided to test out how sporty the Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 really is.

PLANS VETOED: Essex caravan park plans vetoed again

Possible site location at Port Flair

Plans for a 70 pitch caravan park in Essex have been rejected by the local council for a second time.