Drinking and Driving: Penalties, Fines and Deduction of Points

Drinking and Driving: Penalties, Fines and Deduction of Points

We can never repeat it enough: drinking and driving are prohibited in France. Indeed, driving after consuming alcohol not only exposes you to a fine and the loss of your license points, but to much more serious dangers. Each year, drunk driving is the cause of more than 900 accidents.

Now that you've been warned, what does the law say about drunk driving? What are the limits to respect and the penalties if you exceed them? We answer all your questions in this article.

1 What is the limit for drinking and driving?
2 How to respect it?
3 What are the penalties if you drive under the influence of alcohol?

What is the drink-driving limit?

When it comes to drunk driving, it is the blood alcohol level that is measured, ie the level of alcohol in your blood. It is measured in grams per liter when an analysis of your blood is carried out, or in milligrams per liters of exhaled air when you have to blow into a breathalyzer.

When driving with a probationary licence, the authorized alcohol level is now 0.2 g/l. This new regulation applies to all drivers who have had their license for less than 3 years (and less than 2 years for accompanied driving). For more experienced drivers, the authorized limit rises to 0.5 g of alcohol per liter of blood (or 0.25 mg per liter of exhaled air).

How to respect it?

It is difficult to interpret these very precise measurements in terms of alcohol consumption. Here are some reminders to help you monitor your drinking and make sure you're following the drink-driving law.

For young drivers (holders of a probationary license), it is relatively simple. This new legislation simply results in a pure and simple ban on the consumption of alcohol. Indeed, even one glass will be enough to exceed the limit of 0.2 g/l. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from dipping your lips in a glass of alcohol, but that's pretty much it.

For drivers who have had their license for more than 3 years (or 2 years for accompanied driving), be aware that a glass of alcohol whatever it is almost always represents the same blood alcohol level. For every drink you drink, your average blood alcohol level rises to 0.20-0.25 g/l. Of course, this will change depending on your weight, your gender, but also factors such as your general health, your state of fatigue or stress, but also your tobacco consumption. Women are particularly exposed to a higher blood alcohol level and should consider a drink as representing a level of 0.30 g and not 0.20.

To be sure and certain of not taking any risks, it is advisable to limit yourself to one glass of alcohol before driving.

What are the penalties if you drive under the influence of alcohol?

Before showing you the penalties to which you are exposed if you drive under the influence of alcohol, here are some facts that should encourage you to limit your consumption. Driving after drinking exposes you to a risk of accident multiplied by 10 from only 0.8 g of alcohol per liter of blood. This is because alcohol alters your perception of speed and distance, slows down your reaction time, increases your fatigue and prevents you from properly apprehending danger.

Now let's move on to the legal sanctions.

For young drivers

Penalties are heavier for young drivers, as they are 4 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. If you are tested with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit while driving, here is what you expose yourself to:

– a loss of 6 points on your license – a fine of 135 euros – immediate immobilization of your vehicle.

For classic permits

For other drivers, the penalties are divided into two categories depending on your blood alcohol level. If it does not exceed 0.8 g per liter of blood, you will lose 6 points on your license and will have to pay a fine of 135 euros (which can be increased up to 750 euros).

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