Drunk Driving Laws in Austria 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

In Austria, it is mandatory to adhere to a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of less than 0.05% grams or 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood while driving. For novice and professional drivers, the BAC limit is 0.01%. Failure to adhere to this legislation can result in fines and legal repercussions.

The effect of alcohol on blood alcohol concentration varies among individuals. Consuming one or two standard alcoholic drinks can raise blood alcohol to 0.05%. However, this measurement can differ depending on a person’s unique physiology and anatomy. Even if two individuals consume the same quantity of alcohol, their BAC levels may not be the same.

This page aims to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence in Austria. This site does not support or encourage impaired driving, regardless of the country or region.

Based on official statistics, drink-driving accounts for less than 10% of road crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities in Austria. In 2019, out of the total of 416 recorded road deaths, only 32 were directly linked to alcohol.

Austria is one of the EU countries that conducts a substantial number of alcohol checks by the police. In 2019, approximately 1.8 million alcohol tests were conducted, resulting in a positive rate of 1.7%.

Individuals must abstain from driving after consuming alcohol for everyone’s safety. If there is a need to travel after drinking alcohol, exploring safe alternative modes of transportation is advisable.

Opting for authorized driving services or taxis is a dependable choice that minimizes potential risks.

Before visiting a specific country, one must acquaint oneself with the local regulations concerning drunk driving. Additionally, regularly using an alcohol breathalyzer to monitor one’s blood alcohol level can help guarantee that alcohol does not impair their driving ability.

For more comprehensive information on drunk driving laws, visiting Austria’s official website is recommended.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Austria

Even the consumption of a single alcoholic beverage can induce dizziness and impair cognitive functions. Hence, drunk driving substantially amplifies the likelihood of accidents.

The effects of alcohol typically manifest within 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion. Alcohol or drug usage can result in various impairments, including the following:

  • Impaired ability to accurately assess distances and speeds
  • Diminished visual clarity
  • Slower reaction times
  • Panic attacks
  • Experience of hallucinations
  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Increased aggression

Irrespective of outward appearance or personal sensations, consuming alcohol can result in heightened confidence and irresponsible conduct. Engaging in such behavior significantly elevates the risk of compromising road safety.

It is essential to recognize that individuals react distinctively to alcohol. Even if an individual’s alcohol level falls below the legal limit in Austria, they may still display signs of intoxication. Numerous factors can impact an individual’s alcohol level, including:

  • gender,
  • weight,
  • hunger,
  • level of stress,
  • quantity of alcohol consumed, and
  • medication intake.

Even if you feel sober after drinking alcohol, it can still impair your driving ability. Sometimes, the impact of alcohol on your driving skills may only become apparent when you are already operating a vehicle.

BAC calculators and charts can estimate the amount of alcohol you can consume before driving. However, it’s crucial to remember that individual reactions to alcohol can differ. Therefore, these tools may not be entirely accurate for everyone.

It is advisable to use a certified alcohol breathalyzer to measure your BAC level accurately.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Austria

Even a minuscule amount of alcohol consumption can substantially impact your driving abilities. As your BAC level rises, these impairments become more pronounced. Your coordination and decision-making skills may be compromised even at a BAC level of 0.010% to 0.029%.

Laws and penalties for drunk driving can differ between countries. The following provides an overview of the consequences of driving under the influence in Austria.

BAC Level Fines Driving Ban Rehabilitation Program
0.5 to 0.79 g/L € 363 to  € 2180 A psychological driver improvement course is required after the second offense in the penalty point system.
0.8 to 1.19 g/L € 300 to  € 3700 One (1) month  Short course on DUI repercussions, which includes a psychological component intended to change the driver’s behavior.
1.2 to 1.59 g/L € 800 to € 3700 At least four (4) months Psychological driver improvement course
Above 1.6 g/L € 1200 to € 4400 At least six (6) months Psychological driver improvement course, medical and psychological driver assessment

When Can You Drink and Drive in Austria?

As previously mentioned, several factors can influence BAC levels, including gender.

The higher presence of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes in male bodies is believed to contribute to the disparity in BAC levels between males and females. The enzymes are responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Hence, men tend to metabolize alcohol more rapidly than women.

Consuming alcohol can impair vision and cognitive skills, increasing the risk of driving accidents. It is strongly advised to abstain from drinking alcohol before operating a vehicle.

The following recommendations serve as general guidelines to help you determine the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before driving. However, because individual responses to alcohol can vary, the suggested quantities of alcohol below may not apply to everyone.

How Many Bottles of Beer Can You Drink and Drive in Austria?

Drink beer and drive in Austria limit

Body weight is crucial in determining an individual’s blood alcohol concentration. BAC charts indicate that individuals with lower body weights generally experience higher BAC levels.

For instance, consider a man weighing 160 pounds (72 kg) who consumes a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer. His estimated BAC might be around 0.02%. A woman with the same weight may have a BAC of approximately 0.03% after consuming the same quantity of beer. This comparison demonstrates how gender can influence alcohol metabolism.

If you plan to drive after consuming beer, limiting your intake to one or two bottles is advisable.

How Many Wine Glasses Can You Drink and Drive in Austria?

A typical serving of wine typically consists of approximately 142 milliliters (5 ounces) and has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12%.

Based on the example above, limiting wine consumption to one or two glasses is recommended.

How Many Whiskey or Vodka Shots Can You Drink and Drive in Austria?

Whiskey and vodka commonly have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%.

Based on the BAC charts, it is advisable to restrict the consumption of whiskey or vodka to one or two shots.

Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Austria

The consumption of alcohol can significantly impair a driver’s capabilities and present a substantial hazard to road safety. Drivers must exercise caution and fully understand the consequences of drunk driving.

Furthermore, it is crucial to periodically assess your blood alcohol level, even if you have only consumed a small amount of alcohol. If you are doubtful about your driving ability, it is best to look into alternative modes of transportation.

Using a certified alcohol breathalyzer is a dependable means of monitoring your blood alcohol level.

We suggest visiting the country’s official website for further information on drunk driving in Austria.

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.