General legal situation on drinking and driving

In principle, a blood alcohol limit of 0.5 per mille applies in German road traffic. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the limit, in most cases you will not face any consequences during a traffic control. But what rules generally apply to drinking and driving?

The BAC value of 0.5 does not apply to all drivers on Germany's roads. Both for novice drivers in the probationary period and for drivers who have not yet reached the age of 21. If the driver has not yet reached the age of 18, the zero alcohol limit applies. Likewise, all drivers who make mistakes while driving that are attributable to alcohol consumption will face sanctions. We at the law firm Scheerer& Maly from Stuttgart advise you in a personal conversation gladly in detail to the legal situation.

What is meant by impaired driving?

According to Section 316 of the German Criminal Code (StGB), so-called impaired driving is a prerequisite for criminal liability in the event of alcohol-related driving errors in road traffic. Inability to drive is given if the driver's performance is severely impaired by the consumption of alcoholic or other intoxicating substances. Consequently, the latter is no longer able to drive his vehicle safely or to cope with a difficult traffic situation. In case law, a distinction is made between absolute and relative driving incapacity:

  • Absolute inability to drive: from a BAC of 1.1 per mille for drivers of a motor vehicle or. at a BAC of 1.6 per mille for cyclists.
  • Relative driving incapacity: from a BAC of 0.3 per mille in conjunction with demonstrably intoxication-related failure symptoms such as z.B. Driving in a serpentine manner or going straight on a curve.

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General legal situation on drinking and driving

Sanctions for violations of the alcohol limit

Who violates the blood alcohol limit at the wheel, has to reckon with various sanctions. These increase, the more often one is caught. If it is the first time still 500 €, two points in Flensburg and a driving ban of one month, so threaten the third time already 1.500 €, two points and a three-month driving ban.
If you endanger other participants in road traffic, you may also be sentenced to imprisonment or have your driver's license revoked.

For novice drivers in the probationary period and drivers under 21 years, again, a different penalty applies. If they are caught with alcohol at the wheel, a fine of 250 € and a point in Flensburg are due. In addition, the probationary period is extended from two to four years and a postgraduation seminar is ordered.

What happens in an accident with alcohol at the wheel?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not a trivial offense, but can be considered a criminal offense. If alcohol is involved in a traffic accident, the public prosecutor therefore initiates written proceedings in the case of first-time offenders. Repeat offenders will also face a public hearing in court and will be required to undergo a medical-psychological examination (MPU). Penalties range from fines of at least 70 daily rates to imprisonment of up to 5 years. In addition, the driver's license is taken away and, depending on the BAC, points are to be expected in Flensburg. In principle, the driver who is involved in an accident with alcohol at the wheel is awarded a partial blame.

How a lawyer can help?

You have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol or have been involved in a traffic accident due to alcohol consumption? Whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony, the earlier in the process you hire an accomplished attorney, the more defense options can be worked out. Basically we recommend to affected persons when dealing with the police: Talk is silver, silence is gold. Make use of your right to refuse to testify and contact our lawyer for traffic law in Stuttgart at an early stage.

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