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

drinking and driving laws in Hungary

In Hungary, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.00%. This BAC limit implies that drivers are forbidden to operate a vehicle while having any level of alcohol in their bloodstream. Violating this rule can lead to penalties, including fines and legal or administrative actions.

The effect of alcohol on blood alcohol concentration can differ from person to person. While consuming one or two standard alcoholic drinks may raise the BAC to 0.02%, individual factors can influence this. Even if two individuals consume the same amount of beer, their BAC levels may vary.

This webpage intends to spread information and promote awareness regarding the hazards associated with drunk driving in Hungary. The content of this website neither endorses nor encourages drunk driving in any country or region.

Alcohol-related road fatalities in Hungary showed a decline from 65 in 2020 to 51 in 2021. In 2021, there were 185 alcohol-related checks per 1000 population, resulting in 1.2% of drivers being found above the legal limit.

It is crucial to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. If you need to travel after drinking, exploring alternative transportation options that prioritize safety is strongly recommended.

Availing of designated driver services or using taxi services can significantly mitigate potential risks. Before going to a foreign country, you must acquaint yourself with the local laws concerning driving under the influence. Furthermore, regularly checking your blood alcohol level using a breathalyzer can confirm that you are not impaired.

To obtain more detailed information on drunk driving regulations in Hungary, you can visit the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) official website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Hungary

The consumption of just one alcoholic drink can lead to dizziness and cognitive impairment, negatively affecting your decision-making abilities and behavior. This impairment heightens the risk of accidents that endangers anyone driving under the influence.

The effects of alcohol usually become noticeable between 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. Alcohol or drug use can cause several impairments, such as:

  • Difficulty in judging distances and speeds
  • Decreased visual clarity
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Episodes of panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Increased aggression

Regardless of whether you feel or appear intoxicated, consuming alcohol can lead to an unwarranted sense of confidence, potentially resulting in reckless behaviors. Such actions significantly increase the risk of harm to yourself and other road drivers.

It is worth noting that individuals react to alcohol in various ways. Several factors can influence a person’s BAC level, including:

  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Hunger
  • Stress levels
  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • Medication intake

Even if you believe you are sober after drinking, your driving ability can still be impaired. Some people may not feel the impact of consuming alcohol until they are already operating a vehicle.

While there are BAC calculators and charts available that can provide an estimate of the permissible alcohol consumption limit before driving, it is important to understand that each individual responds differently to alcohol. Therefore, these tools may not universally apply.

We strongly recommend using an alcohol breathalyzer to assess your BAC accurately before assuming control of a vehicle.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Hungary

Consuming even a small quantity of alcohol can have a notable impact on your driving skills. A BAC ranging from 0.010% to 0.029% can impair your coordination and decision-making skills, and these effects become more pronounced as the BAC increases.

The legislation and penalties related to drunk driving differ from one country to another. The penalties for drunk driving in Hungary are provided below for your convenience.

BAC Level Up To 0.03%

  • Fines: Around € 75
  • Penalty Points: Six (6) points

BAC Level Between 0.03% to 0.05%

  • Fines: Around € 250
  • Penalty Points: Eight (8) points

BAC Level Exceeding 0.05%

  • Penalty Points: Eleven (11) points
  • Jail Time: Up to two (2) years of imprisonment
  • Driving Ban: One (1) month up to ten (10) years

When Can You Drink and Drive in Hungary?

As mentioned earlier, various factors, including gender, can influence BAC levels. The higher presence of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes, responsible for metabolizing alcohol, in the male body is believed to contribute to the disparity in BAC levels between men and women. Consequently, men tend to process alcohol more quickly than women.

Consuming alcohol can impair vision and increase the risk of accidents while driving. It is advisable to abstain from alcohol before taking control of a vehicle.

The following guidelines can assist you in estimating how many alcoholic drinks you can consume before driving. However, we want to reiterate that individuals react differently to alcohol. Therefore, the suggested alcohol quantities listed below may not be suitable for everyone.

How Many Beer Bottles Can You Drink and Drive in Hungary?

Drinking beer and driving in Hungary

An individual’s weight is an important factor in determining their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). 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 may have a BAC 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.

If you intend to drive in Hungary, it is recommended to abstain from consuming any amount of beer.

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

A typical serving of wine is 142 milliliters (5 ounces) with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12%.

If a man weighing 160 pounds (72 kilograms) consumes a glass of wine, his blood alcohol content (BAC) may reach 0.02%. It is essential to consider that factors such as gender, stress, medication, and hunger levels can influence BAC.

It is not recommended to consume wine before driving in Hungary.

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

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

Taking a similar example, a man weighing 160 pounds may reach a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.02% after consuming a single shot. A woman of the same weight may have a BAC of around 0.03% after drinking the same amount. 

It is strongly advised to avoid consuming any quantity of vodka or whiskey before driving in Hungary.

Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Hungary

Driving while intoxicated presents a substantial hazard to road safety. Even a small quantity of alcohol can impair a driver’s coordination and abilities. Therefore, it is imperative for drivers to take appropriate measures and fully understand the repercussions of drinking and driving.

Regardless of the number of alcoholic beverages you have consumed, it is vital to assess your blood alcohol level regularly. If you are uncertain about your driving capability, it is advisable to consider alternative transportation options.

A certified alcohol breathalyzer provides a dependable method for monitoring your blood alcohol level.

We recommend visiting the official website of ETSC for additional information concerning regulations related to drunk driving.

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.