General enquiries: Drinking and driving in Switzerland: what are the limits? What are the risks? 

Would you like to find out about the legal limits for drinking and driving in Switzerland? Read this article!

For all motor vehicles and boats (even pedal boats, yes!), the permitted alcohol level must be less than 0.25 mg/L or 0.5 ‰.

If this limit is exceeded, the individual who committed the offence is liable to administrative penalties (warning, fine, withdrawal of licence) or criminal penalties (fines, pecuniary penalties or deprivation of liberty).

There are three levels of penalties for drunk driving:

  1. Blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.25 to 0.39 mg/L or 0.50 to 0.75 ‰: warning or fine.
  2. BAC of 0.25 to 0.39 mg/L or 0.50 to 0.75 ‰ AND traffic violation: 
  • Withdrawal of license for at least 1 month,
  • Fine,
  • Financial penalty,
  • Custodial sentence of up to 3 years.

 

  1. BAC greater than or equal to 0.40 mg/L or 0.80 ‰:
  • Withdrawal of license for at least 3 months,
  • Fine,
  • Financial penalty,
  • Custodial sentence of up to 3 years,
  • Entry of the offence in the criminal record.

 

If there is bodily harm or death due to drinking and driving, you will be subject to the criminal penalties applicable in that case.

 

The legal limit varies if your driver’s licence is on probation. There is a zero tolerance for drinking and driving in the first year after you get your licence. 

If there is an offence and it is the first one, the probationary period will be extended by 1 year. The permit will be cancelled in case of a second offence. A new one can only be issued at the earliest 1 year after the offence and with a psychological expertise. 

 

There is no need to remind you that even if you are within the legal limits, the first drink can already alter your attention at the wheel and have harmful consequences. Don’t forget: drink or drive, you have to decide!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.