Road Safety News

Know your limits before driving abroad: GEM Motoring Assist

Friday 22nd July 2016

The road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging holidaymakers to ensure they are aware of speed and alcohol limits and other driving regulations before embarking on an overseas holiday this summer.

Neil Worth, GEM’s road safety officer, said: “It pays to do some research before you go, whether you’re driving your own car or renting a vehicle once you get there.

“Familiarise yourself with motorway speed limits and remember that foreign drivers are subject to the same traffic rules as residents, often enforceable by hefty on-the-spot fines.”

Across Europe, with the exception of Malta, drink-drive limits are lower than in England and Wales. Many countries have a standard limit of 0.05% (the limit in England and Wales is 0.08%), though in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia the limit is zero.

Neil Worth said: “Although you can legally drive in England and Wales at the alcohol limit of 0.08%, doing the same thing in Hungary or Norway could put you in prison.

“There is no reliable way to calculate how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit, but you have nothing to fear if you steer clear of alcohol before driving.

“A bit of research and sensible journey planning will help ensure you don’t feel the need to speed or to drive after drinking alcohol – so you’ll be staying legal and reducing risk on holiday.”

Click here for a comprehensive database of driving requirements in European countries.


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I believe 80mg is the right limit because additionally I believe there should be greater emphasis on driver state, rather than adherence to a limit. My dad at about 80mg would be safe to drive, whereas I'd be a legitimate danger to people, even BELOW 50mg.
David Weston, Corby

Agree (2) | Disagree (5)

If I blew 80 mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath in Scotland I'd be banned.

An interesting issue arises, what happens when I'm on the A74(M) just after the Gretna turn off, when below England's limit yet above Scotland's limit - think I'd be allowed to park on a motorway?

(Personally I think the 80mg limit is the right limit but ho hum)
David Weston, Corby

Agree (3) | Disagree (5)

Drivers should be aware that in most continental countries 30km/h limits are not implemented with repeater signs every 100m. It is taken as expected that in residential and urban streets then lower speeds should prevail.

In addition driver "presumed liability" exists in all but a couple of countries whereby the driver of a motor vehicle is held liable in any collisions with more vulnerable road users unless they can prove otherwise.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)

I am amazed that Dave thinks that an 80 mg drink drive limit is the right limit. The only safe limit is NONE! ANY amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive!
Keith, Northampton

Agree (6) | Disagree (4)