Drunk driving – penalties & driving
In this day and age, the police have to get rid of drunk drivers several times a day. And also again and again it catches a prominent one, so that this topic appears again in the news. The fact that this has long ceased to be a trivial offense is shown by the many accident victims involved in such accidents. The catalog of fines was completely overhauled not so long ago in order to punish offenders more severely.
Anyone who is unfit to drive must now not only reckon with a revocation of the driver's license, but it may even happen that the person has to spend some time behind bars – even more so if there should be an accident.
How much alcohol can you drink at the wheel?
In general, a person is still allowed to drive if he or she has under 0.5 per mille in the blood, this is also set by law in neighboring countries. Basically, this also applies to drunk driving in Austria, but here there are even more severe fines.
The limit can also not be set globally, because each person reacts differently to the different alcoholic beverages. For example, a petite woman weighing 50 kilograms will have significantly more alcohol in her blood after 2 beers than a 90-kilo man (all other things being equal).
Someone who thinks he is still fit to drive may well be disabused, because if he drives in serpentines, the suspension of his driving license will have a different effect on him – even if he may only have 0.3 per mille of alcohol.
The exact limits at a glance:
- 0.5 to 1.09 per mille: 500 Euro fine / 4 points in Flensburg/ 1 month driving ban
- 1.1 to 1.99 per mille: 1.500 Euro fine / 7 points in Flensburg / 6 months driving ban
- From 2.0 per mille: 30 to 60 daily fines / 7 points in Flensburg / up to 18 months driving ban
The daily rates are calculated on the basis of the earnings per day of the individual person. Earns one therefore 3.000 euros gross per month, that's 150 euros a day, and you have to work with at least 4.Calculate 500 Euro penalty.
In Austria it means, if a drive is stopped by the police and alcohol consumption is detected, first of all an administrative fine comes to the driver. Next comes a caution and finally the person can expect the revocation of the driving license. In some cases, the person may also have to undergo traffic coaching; in Germany, the MPU is standard here.
From what age are there penalties?
Drinking and driving – From what age are there penalties?
In Germany, the law (as of 2015) stipulates that persons over the age of 18 are fully culpable. However, the court may decide that a person under the age of 21 is still punishable under juvenile criminal law. The penalties then do not look quite so sharp. But with abuse of alcohol consumption there are in Germany as in Austria hard punishments, even more so if it comes to a car accident or innocent people are involved.
However, the penalty remains the same and is punished in legal circles as negligent road endangerment. If a traffic – penalty order comes into the house, the accused can first file an objection, it then comes to a court hearing. If a blood test was ordered in advance, which could prove alcohol, this is based on the verdict and the penalty is assessed in most cases thereafter.
The penalty for a first-time offender is then a fine, calculated in daily rates. The amount depends on the earnings of the convict. If caught drinking and driving again at a later date, the fine may well be commuted to a jail sentence or be significantly higher in financial terms. For more information, see the German Lawyer's Hotline.
What happens if you get caught?
If you are stopped by the police, the first thing you have to do is blow, in the jargon this is called a breath alcohol test. Thereby the test can be rejected. If testing is refused, a judge may order a blood test as a result, as the result is considered evidence in a court hearing. For this purpose, blood is taken by a doctor and analyzed in the laboratory for the actual alcohol content.
What actually happens in detail if someone is caught with alcohol at the wheel?
First of all, it is advisable that the person should keep quiet. Raising your voice immediately or even insulting the police officers will only draw useless attention to the person. But there is no need to give any information at all, because the person has quite a right to remain silent.
If a blood test has been ordered, a lawyer should definitely be consulted afterwards. The then in turn request file inspection and arrange everything necessary.
How long is the driver's license suspended for drunk driving?
With different levels of blood alcohol, there are of course also different penalties that await someone if they are caught drunk on the road. If you drink alcohol but have a level below 0.3 per mille – which is not a punishable offense – you are driving perfectly legally without an accident. However, the whole thing looks different when it comes to an accident.
Anyone who gets into a car with a blood alcohol level of 0.3 and risks an accident is liable for prosecution. In this case, not only a fine is to be expected, but also a driving ban. This is even more true if there is more alcohol in the body. Here the fines increase, the points in Flensburg and also the driving ban is drastically increased.
Driving privileges and license suspension are two different things, however, because a driving privilege is imposed for up to three months and a driver's license is revoked. If your driver's license is suspended, it is no longer valid. A blocking period is ordered by the court and after that it must be applied for again. This can also be linked to conditions, for example, a new re-training or an MPU, which is also fondly called "idiot test".
If you drink and drive, your driver's license is immediately gone, unless a time limit is given. If you have more than 0.9 per mille, you will have to hand in your driver's license immediately. In most cases, the police seize the bill still at the scene of the incident, and this can also not be denied. Have to surrender your driver's license as – regardless of whether or not you still need it.
Drunk driving laws
Anyone who wants to know exactly what penalties await them for drunk driving or other traffic offenses should take a close look at the new fine catalog. Here is everything listed, including what is valid not only for motorists, but also for other road users.
If the driving insecurity is not visible, the law assumes a misdemeanor. All promille values, which lie over it, become really expensive and hurt straight those, which need the driver's license also vocationally.
Penalties must be expected for those who behave improperly in traffic. This includes:
- Failure to obey right-of-way rules
- Wrong overtaking
- Who does not behave correctly at crosswalks
- Who drives in serpentines
- Those who drive too fast or fail to obey intersections and junctions
- Turning on highways
What happens if you drink and drive under the age of 21?
Every novice driver since 01.08.2007 to comply with an alcohol limit of 0 percent. This applies not only during the entire probationary period, but also for young people who are under 21 years of age. Anyone caught here and under the influence of alcohol can face hefty fines.
There are also points in Flensburg and there is possibly a retraining on the person to come. In the worst case, you have to reckon with the probationary period being raised from two to four years or the driver's license being cancelled completely.
How many deaths occur each year due to drunk driving?
That the Germans& Austrians are a people who have not sworn off alcohol, everyone knows, but that this causes a great many accidents that need not be is hardly known. In 2012 alone, 14.551 people killed by alcohol consumption. The number of people who fell victim to drinking and driving is put at 3827 people – still around 25%.
Alcohol consumption is drunk almost everywhere in the world and driving under the influence of alcohol also happens not only in Germany or Austria. However, it has become a big problem because most people think they are still fit to drive.
The question of who pays the bill in the end cannot be answered globally. Because if a person dies, the driver will never come to terms with his conscience. However, there are also insurance-related problems, because some insurance companies will refuse to pay for damage caused by drunk driving.
However, this is again dependent on the per thousand value, because with some insurance companies it is customary that they refuse a benefit completely or pay only partially. In the event of a death, the causer is then faced with costs that he can hardly cope with.
What about the occupants in the car?
By the way, a possible passenger is also anything but off the hook if he should be injured. He can hardly hope for compensation for pain and suffering, because here was negligent, that is also determined by law.
Every insurance company regulates damage under the influence of alcohol differently
Furthermore it depends however substantially on possible clauses in the contract. Standard insurance conditions state from the outset that no payment, or only a proportionate payment, will be made in the event of an accident occurring under the influence of alcohol. In most cases it concerns a person or a vehicle involved in the accident. The policyholder can expect nothing from his insurance, because he has acted grossly negligent, if he gets behind the wheel and has previously enjoyed alcohol. Here it is independent whether he thinks he is still fit to drive.
When is one a repeat offender?
If you are caught with alcohol for the first time in Austria, you actually get off lightly, although 500 euros, 2 points and a 1-month driving ban hurt quite a bit. Then, for the second offense, the penalty is already 1.000 euros and the driving ban is extended to three months.
After the third time, it gets really expensive and painful, because then the whole thing costs as much as 1.500 euros. From the fourth repeat offense threatens an MPU. However, this can happen before if the alcohol level is above 1.6 per mille.
A repeat offence does not expire like any other offence, but the 2 points awarded for it remain on the points account in Flensburg for 5 years. All in all, driving a cab under the influence of alcohol makes much more sense and should be preferred if you are not quite sure that you are under the 0.5 per mille limit.