Ukraine’s 2024 Drink Driving Penalties and Limits

In Ukraine, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is set at a strict 0.02%, equivalent to 0.2 grams per liter (g/L) of blood.

What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, the laws governing road safety are particularly strict when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. For all drivers, without exception, the legal alcohol limit has been established at 0.02%. This stringent measure is designed to ensure the safety of both drivers and pedestrians by significantly reducing the risk of accidents related to impaired driving.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in Ukraine

In Ukraine, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol are severe and escalate with each offense, reflecting the country’s commitment to road safety and zero tolerance for impaired driving. Here’s what drivers can expect if they are found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit:

  • First DUI Offense: Offenders face a hefty fine of UAH 17,000 and will have their driving license suspended for one year. This initial penalty serves as a stern warning against the dangers and legal consequences of drunk driving.
  • Second DUI Offense: If a driver commits a second DUI, the punishment intensifies to a UAH 34,000 fine or a 10-day arrest, along with a three-year suspension of the driving license. This steep increase in penalties underscores the seriousness with which repeated offenses are viewed.
  • Subsequent Offenses: For those who are caught driving under the influence for a third time, especially if the third offense occurs within a year of the second, the consequences are even more drastic. The fine rises to UAH 51,000 or a 15-day arrest, accompanied by a ten-year suspension of the driving license. Additionally, the offender’s vehicle may be seized.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: Repeated DUI offenses also lead to the vehicle being impounded, which can only be released against an additional fee, further adding to the financial burden of the offender.
  • Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test: Drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test when requested by law enforcement will incur an additional fine of UAH 40,800. This measure is in place to discourage evasion of DUI checks and ensure compliance.
  • Serious Incidents: In cases where drunk driving leads to accidents causing injuries or fatalities, the offender will face criminal liability. Such incidents are treated with the utmost severity, reflecting the potential for harm that drunk driving poses to the community.

Given the dynamic nature of legal regulations and the potential for updates, drivers and residents are strongly encouraged to regularly consult the official state website for the most current information regarding DUI laws and penalties in Ukraine. This proactive approach will help ensure individuals are well-informed about the legal implications of driving under the influence and can take steps to comply with road safety laws.

How Can I Calculate If My Alcohol Blood Limit Is Legal in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, law enforcement uses breathalyzer tests at checkpoints or during traffic stops to determine if a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit of 0.02%. This method is both quick and efficient, allowing officers to assess whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol without needing immediate blood tests.

As a phlebologist with over a decade of experience, I understand the critical importance of being aware of your BAC before getting behind the wheel. To assist in this, I recommend two reliable methods for estimating your BAC:

  1. Use a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer: For personal use, the BACtrack S80 is one of the best options available in Ukraine. It offers professional-grade accuracy and is approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it’s also FDA 510(k) cleared. Based on my extensive experience, I strongly advise keeping one in your vehicle. This is crucial because many people in Ukraine might not accurately judge their BAC level, leading to unintentional impaired driving. The BACtrack S80 provides a convenient and reliable way to assess your alcohol level, helping you make informed decisions about driving.
  2. Utilize My BAC Calculator: Together with fellow phlebologists and web developers, I’ve developed an online BAC calculator. This tool is designed to offer an estimate of your BAC based on the input of various factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed, the type of drinks, your weight, and the time elapsed since your first drink.

It’s important to remember that while both these methods can provide a good estimate of your BAC, they do not guarantee 100% accuracy. Factors like metabolism, age, gender, and recent meals can affect your actual BAC. Therefore, these tools should be used as a guide to understanding your alcohol level, not as a definitive measure. They can be particularly useful in preventing drunk driving by giving you a clear indication when you might be close to or over the legal limit. Always err on the side of caution and if in doubt, do not drive.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in Ukraine

Drink beer and drive in Ukraine

Driving under the influence of alcohol poses significant risks to yourself, other road users, and pedestrians. It’s crucial to make responsible choices to ensure safety on the roads. In Ukraine, there are convenient options available to help you avoid driving when your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) might be above the legal limit. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Utilize Taxi Services: One of the simplest ways to avoid driving after consuming alcohol is to use taxi services. With the availability of global apps like Uber, finding a ride has never been easier. Additionally, for a more localized service, residents of Kyiv can opt for Aist Taksi Kyiv, while those in Lviv might prefer Taxi Lviv. These services provide a safe and reliable means of transportation, ensuring you can get home without the need to drive.
  2. Designated Driver Services: If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve driven to a location but consumed alcohol and cannot safely drive back, consider using a designated driver service. In Kyiv, services such as Sober Driver offer a solution where a professional driver will drive you and your car home. In Lviv, Shark-Taxi provides a similar service. To find a designated driver in your area, a quick search for “designated driver service” along with your city name on Google will yield relevant results.

These options not only ensure your safety but also contribute to the safety of everyone on the road. Planning ahead and making the decision to not drive after drinking is a responsible choice. Whether it’s booking a taxi or utilizing a designated driver service, these alternatives are readily available to help you avoid the risks associated with driving with a high BAC in Ukraine.


Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Ukraine

Drunk driving remains a significant concern in Ukraine, with data from 2016 showing that 6.7% of road crash fatalities were alcohol-related. The importance of abstaining from driving after consuming alcohol cannot be overstated, as it endangers everyone on the road.

It’s crucial for individuals to be aware of their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) before deciding to drive. Using a certified alcohol breathalyzer offers a reliable method to ensure you’re within the legal limit. If in doubt, opting for alternative transportation methods such as taxis or designated driver services is a responsible choice.

For comprehensive and up-to-date information on regulations and penalties related to drunk driving in Ukraine, it’s advisable to consult the country’s official website. This proactive approach, combined with responsible decision-making, can significantly reduce the risks associated with driving under the influence.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.