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

Drunk Driving Laws in Denmark

Drivers in Denmark are required to adhere to a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit that is set below 0.05% or 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood when operating a vehicle. The limit was implemented in 1998, and there has been no specified lower alcohol limit for any particular group of drivers in Denmark.

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

This article intends to increase awareness about the consequences of drunk driving in Denmark. The information provided on this website does not support or encourage impaired driving, regardless of geographical location or legal jurisdiction.

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of alcohol-related road fatalities in Denmark decreased by half, from 64 in 2010 to 32 in 2018. This reduction reflects an average annual decrease of 6.3% during that period.

Nevertheless, between 2016 and 2019, the progress in reducing alcohol-related road incidents appears stagnant. One possible explanation for this is that Denmark has already achieved significant success in curbing drink-driving among the general population through communication efforts, police enforcement, and imposing sanctions.

Individuals should refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. If it is necessary to travel following alcohol consumption, it is strongly recommended to utilize safe alternative transportation options such as authorized driving services or taxis.

Before visiting any particular country, it is crucial to familiarize oneself with the local regulations of drunk driving. Moreover, regularly checking one’s blood alcohol level using a breathalyzer can help ensure that alcohol does not impair their driving skills.

For more comprehensive information regarding drunk driving laws, it is recommended to visit Denmark’s drunk driving campaign website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Denmark

The consumption of a single alcoholic beverage can result in dizziness and hinder cognitive functions, significantly raising the risk of accidents when driving under the influence.

The effects of alcohol typically become noticeable within a timeframe of 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. Alcohol or drug usage can lead to various impairments, such as:

  • Challenges in accurately assessing distances and speeds,
  • Diminished visual clarity,
  • Slower reaction times
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Increased aggression.

Drinking alcohol can lead to false confidence and irresponsible behavior. Engaging in such behavior significantly heightens the risk of compromising road safety.

It is crucial to recognize that individuals react differently to alcohol. Even if someone’s alcohol level is below the legal limit in Denmark, they may still display signs of intoxication. Numerous factors can influence a person’s alcohol level, including the following:

  • Gender,
  • Weight,
  • Hunger,
  • Stress level,
  • Quantity of alcohol consumed,
  • Medications taken.

Even if one believes they are sober after consuming alcohol, it can still have a negative impact on their ability to drive. At times, the impairing effects of alcohol may only become apparent when an individual is already operating a vehicle.

BAC calculator and charts can approximate the alcohol quantity one can consume before driving. Nevertheless, keep in mind that individual responses to alcohol can differ. Hence, these tools may not be entirely accurate for everyone.

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

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Denmark

Drinking even a tiny amount of alcohol can significantly impact your driving abilities. As your BAC level increases, these impairments become more pronounced. Your coordination and decision-making skills can be compromised even at BAC levels between 0.010% and 0.029%.

Drunk driving laws differ from one country to another. In Denmark, drivers must understand the consequences of surpassing the legal BAC limit. Violations of the regulations may result in fines and other legal matters.

The penalties for drunk driving in Denmark can vary depending on the circumstances and the driver’s BAC level at the time of the offense. The following information provides an overview of the penalties for driving under the influence in Denmark.

BAC Level Fines Driving Ban Rehabilitation Imprisonment
0.5 to 1.2 g/L Net monthly income x the BAC level Conditional withdrawal of driver’s license
  • Mandatory 12-hour course on “Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic.”
  • New theory test and a new driving test
1.21 to 2.0 g/L Net monthly income x the BAC level Unconditional withdrawal of license for three years
  • Mandatory 12-hour course on “Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic.”
  • New theory test and a new driving test 
Above 2.0 g/L One month’s net income
  • Unconditional withdrawal of the driver’s license for a period of three years
  • Followed by either two years with a mandatory alcohol interlock device installed in the vehicle or an additional two years without a license
  • Resulting in a total of five years without driving privileges.
  • Mandatory 12-hour course on “Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic.”
  • New theory test and a new driving test
  • Two years with an alcohol interlock
20 days conditional prison

When Can You Drink and Drive in Denmark?

As previously mentioned, factors such as gender can impact BAC levels.

The higher presence of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes in males is believed to contribute to the disparity in BAC levels between males and females. These enzymes play a role in alcohol metabolism, resulting in men generally metabolizing alcohol at a faster rate than women.

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

The following recommendations offer general guidelines to estimate the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before driving. However, individual reactions to alcohol can vary, so the suggested quantities may not be applicable to everyone.

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

Drink beer and drive in Denmark limit

Body weight is a major factor in an individual’s blood alcohol concentration. BAC charts indicate that individuals with lower body weights tend to have higher BAC levels.

For instance, a man weighing 160 pounds (72 kg) who consumes a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer can have a BAC be around 0.02%. In contrast, a woman of the same weight might have a BAC of approximately 0.03% after consuming the same amount of beer. This comparison highlights how gender can impact alcohol metabolism.

If you intend 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 Denmark?

A standard serving of wine is generally around 142 milliliters (5 ounces) and typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12%.

Taking the previous example into account, it is recommended to limit the consumption of wine to one or two glasses.

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

Whiskey and vodka commonly have an 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 Denmark

Consuming alcohol significantly impairs a driver’s abilities and poses a substantial risk to road safety. Drivers must be careful on the road and have a comprehensive understanding of the consequences of drunk driving.

In Denmark, drivers are obligated to strictly adhere to the legal BAC limit, which is set at less than 0.05% (0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood) when operating a vehicle. Complying with these regulations is vital to ensure road safety, and failure to do so can result in fines and legal repercussions.

Furthermore, it is vital to regularly assess your blood alcohol level, even if you have consumed only a small quantity of alcohol. If you are uncertain about your ability to drive, exploring alternative transportation options for safety is advisable.

A certified alcohol breathalyzer is reliable for monitoring your blood alcohol level.

We recommend visiting the country’s official drink and drive campaign website for more comprehensive information on drunk driving in Denmark.

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.