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

drinking and driving laws in Greece

In Greece, drivers are required to meet a specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.05% grams or 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Non-compliance with this standard can lead to penalties, including fines and legal or administrative actions. Drivers must be aware of and adhere to this limit in order to ensure compliance with the law and promote responsible driving.

The impact of alcohol on BAC can differ from person to person. While one or two standard alcoholic beverages may increase the blood alcohol content to 0.05%, this can vary based on factors such as the individual’s physiology. For instance, two people who drink the same amount of beer may have different blood alcohol concentrations.

This page seeks to inform visitors and increase awareness of the risks involved with drunk driving in Greece. It’s crucial to remember that the information on this website does not endorse or promote the act of driving while intoxicated in any nation or territory.

In 2018, the Hellenic Statistical Authority reported 36 fatalities on the roads that were attributed to alcohol, out of a total of 700 road deaths. The figures for 2019 were quite similar, with 34 out of 688 road fatalities being alcohol-related.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport announced the development of the National Strategic Plan for Road Safety in March 2021. This new strategy embraces the Safe System Approach and the long-term Vision Zero, which aims for zero road fatalities by 2050.

Moreover, the quantitative targets of the Greek Road Safety Strategy align with the European Union’s goals of reducing the number of deaths and severe injuries in accidents by 50% by 2030.

To ensure both your safety and the safety of other drivers, it is imperative to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. If you need to travel after drinking, think about other safe modes of transportation. You may use designated driver services or take a cab to minimize dangers.

It’s crucial to learn about the country’s drunk driving laws before traveling there. Additionally, you may confirm that you are not intoxicated by routinely checking your blood alcohol level with an alcohol breathalyzer.

For further details on Greece’s drunk driving rules, you can visit the European Transport Safety Council’s official website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Greece

Even one alcoholic drink might make you feel woozy and harm your cognitive function, which will influence your decision-making and everyday behavior. Given that it makes accidents more likely, drunk driving poses a serious concern.

Alcohol usually starts to have an effect within 30 to 2 hours of drinking. Before driving, drinking alcohol or using drugs can cause a number of impairments, including:

  • Challenges in precisely gauging distances and velocities
  • Diminished eyesight
  • Delayed response times
  • Panic episodes
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Queasiness
  • Throwing up
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Heightened aggression or restlessness

Even if you don’t feel or appear drunk, drinking alcohol might give you an inappropriate sense of confidence that can lead to reckless actions. Such behaviors raise the possibility of harming both you and other drivers on the road.

It’s important to recognize that everyone responds to alcohol differently. Even though your blood alcohol level is below Greece’s legal limit of 0.05%, you could nevertheless show signs of intoxication. A person’s BAC can be affected by a variety of circumstances, including the following:

  • Weight,
  • Gender,
  • Hunger,
  • Stress levels,
  • Quantity of alcohol consumed, and
  • Medication intake.

Your driving skills can be compromised, even if you feel sober after consuming alcohol. There are individuals who may not experience the effects of alcohol until they are already operating a vehicle. To ensure responsible driving, we recommend utilizing an alcohol breathalyzer to assess your blood alcohol content before taking control of the steering wheel.

While BAC calculators and charts can offer an estimation of the permissible alcohol consumption limit prior to driving, it is crucial to recognize that everyone reacts differently to alcohol. Therefore, these tools may not be universally applicable.

For the most accurate measurement of your BAC, it is advisable to employ a certified alcohol breathalyzer.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Greece

Even a small amount of alcohol consumption can significantly impair your driving ability. Coordination and decision-making capabilities can be affected by a BAC level as low as 0.010% to 0.029%, and these symptoms intensify as BAC increases.

The severity of drunk driving regulations and penalties may differ based on the country. For your reference, we have provided Greece’s penalties for drinking and driving below.

BAC Level of 0.05% to 0.08% (0.50 g/l to 0.80 g/l)

  • Fines:  € 200 

BAC Level of 0.08% to 0.11% (0.80 g/l/ to 1.10 g/l )

  • Fines: € 700 
  • Driving ban: 90 days

BAC Level Over 0.11% (1.10 g/l)

  • Fines: €1,200
  • Driving Ban: 180 days
  • Jail Time: At least 2 months

BAC Level Over 0.11% (1.10 g/l) Within 2 years After Previous Violation

  • Fines: €2,000
  • Driving Ban: Five (5) years
  • Jail Time: At least six (6) months

When Can You Drink and Drive in Greece?

As previously stated, a variety of elements, including gender, might influence BAC levels. The higher concentration of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes, which are in charge of breaking down alcohol, in men’s systems is thought to be the reason why men and women have differing BAC levels. Due to this fact, men absorb alcohol more quickly than women.

Alcohol use can impair your vision and raise the risk of accidents while you’re driving. To guarantee road safety, it is therefore advised to refrain from drinking alcohol before operating a vehicle.

You can determine how much alcohol you can consume before driving by using the recommendations below. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each person’s response to alcohol differs, and the data provided here is only a rough estimate. Thus, the suggested amount of alcohol listed below may not be suitable for everyone.

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

Drinking beer and driving in Greece

Weight plays a significant role in influencing a person’s blood alcohol content. People with lower body weights often have greater BAC levels, according to BAC charts.

For instance, a man weighing 160 pounds (72 kg) who consumes a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer may have a blood alcohol content of 0.02%, while a woman of the same weight may have a BAC of 0.03%. This comparison highlights the influence of gender on alcohol metabolism.

So if you intend to drive after drinking beer, it’s best to stick to one or two bottles.

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

A standard serving of wine is 142 milliliters (5 ounces) and contains 12% alcohol by volume (ABV).

If a man weighing 160 pounds (72 kilograms) drinks a glass of wine, he may obtain a BAC level of 0.02%. However, keep in mind that stress, medicine, and hunger level can all have an impact on BAC levels.

It is advised to limit your wine consumption to one or two glasses.

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

Distilled spirits like whiskey and vodka typically have a 40% ABV. Similar to the example above, a 160-pound man who has one shot may reach a BAC of around 0.02%, while a woman of the same weight may have a BAC of approximately 0.03%. However, these levels can increase due to the mentioned factors.

It’s best to limit your whiskey or vodka consumption to one to two shots.

Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Greece

Drunk driving poses a serious threat to road safety, and even a small amount of alcohol can impair a driver’s coordination and abilities. Therefore, it is crucial for drivers to take necessary precautions and fully comprehend the consequences of drinking and driving.

It is important to regularly monitor your blood alcohol level, even if you have consumed just one beer or a small quantity of wine. If you are unsure about your driving capacity, consider using alternative methods of transportation.

To ensure compliance with legal limits, prevent accidents, and prioritize your safety on the road, a certified alcohol breathalyzer is a dependable device for monitoring your blood alcohol level.

We recommend visiting the official website of the European Transport Safety Council for more information about drunk driving in Greece.

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.