Drink-Driving in Poland: 2024 Laws and Limits

Drunk Driving Laws in Poland

In Poland, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is set at 0.02%, or 0.2 grams per liter (g/L) of blood.

This article intends to increase awareness about the dangers associated with drunk driving in Poland. This website does not endorse or promote driving while under the influence of alcohol.

What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Poland?

When it comes to driving on the roads of Poland, understanding the legal alcohol limit is crucial for ensuring both your safety and compliance with local laws. The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for all drivers and road users in Poland is universally set at 0.2 grams per liter (g/l) of blood. This stringent standard applies equally to all categories of drivers, with no further reduced limits designated for any specific group of drivers.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in Poland

In Poland, the seriousness with which driving under the influence of alcohol is treated reflects the country’s commitment to road safety. Following a series of high-profile drink-driving incidents, Poland significantly stiffened its penalties for those caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.5 grams per liter (g/L) in May 2015. These measures include longer driving bans, mandatory rehabilitation courses, and the potential installation of alcohol interlocks in vehicles.

Below is a detailed table summarizing the penalties and sanctions for drink-driving offenses as outlined in the Polish Highway Code:

BAC level (g/L) License suspended/revoked Fines (in euros) Penalty points Detention Other
0.2 – 0.5 From 6 months to 3 years Up to 1135 € 10 1 month Court decides fine based on financial situation
> 0.5 From 1 to 15 years Court decides, up to 13,619 € 10 Up to 2 years Fines for Victims’ Aid Fund
Causing an accident without fatalities 3 to 15 years driving ban 2270 € to 13,619 € Up to 4.5 years prison
Causing an accident with injury or death Lifetime driving ban 2270 € to 13,619 € 2 to 12 years prison
Causing a catastrophe with fatalities Lifetime driving ban 2270 € to 13,619 € 3 to 12 years prison
Recidivism (>0.5 g/L) first offense 1 to 15 years driving ban 1135 € to 13,619 € Up to 2 years
Recidivism (>0.5 g/L) second offense 3 to 15 years driving ban 3 months to 5 years prison 2270 € to 13,619 €
Recidivism (>0.5 g/L) third offense Lifetime driving ban 3 months to 5 years prison 2270 € to 13,619 €

Rehabilitation and Alcohol Interlock Programmes: Since January 2015, DUI drivers must complete a rehabilitation course focusing on alcohol issues to reclaim their driving licenses. The Alcohol Interlock programme, introduced in May 2015, offers offenders a way to potentially shorten their driving bans. This programme, subject to criminal law, requires annual calibration of the alcohol interlock by competent authorities, although no data collection or driver monitoring is included.

Given the potential for changes in legislation and enforcement practices, individuals are strongly encouraged to frequently check the official country’s website for the most up-to-date information on drink and drive penalties and punishments in Poland.

How Can I Calculate if My Alcohol Blood Limit is Legal in Poland?

In Poland, the police enforce the legal alcohol limit by conducting tests with approved devices to measure the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in drivers suspected of being under the influence. This is done primarily through the use of breathalyzers during road checks or traffic stops. These devices provide a quick and efficient means of determining whether a driver has consumed alcohol beyond the legal limit of 0.02% BAC.

As a phlebologist with a decade of experience, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of understanding and respecting these limits for the safety of all road users. To assist in this, I recommend two methods for checking your BAC level:

  1. Use a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer: For those looking for a reliable way to measure their BAC, the BACtrack S80 stands out. This device is recognized for its professional-grade accuracy and has received approval from the DOT & NHTSA, in addition to being FDA 510(k) cleared. Its precision makes it a valuable tool for anyone wishing to ensure they are within legal limits before driving. Keeping a device like the BACtrack S80 in your vehicle can be especially beneficial in Poland, where there might be a lack of awareness about one’s BAC level and the risks of impaired driving.
  2. Utilize a BAC Calculator: Alongside fellow phlebologists and with the aid of web developers, I have developed a BAC calculator that is available online. This tool can help estimate your BAC based on the amount and type of alcohol consumed, your weight, and the time elapsed since drinking. It’s designed to offer guidance and help individuals make informed decisions about their ability to drive.

It’s crucial to remember that while both these methods can provide a good indication of your BAC level, they do not guarantee 100% accuracy. Factors such as metabolism, food intake, and individual health conditions can affect the results. Therefore, these tools should be used as guides to help you avoid driving when there’s any possibility of exceeding Poland’s 0.02% BAC limit. Always err on the side of caution and consider alternative transportation if there’s any doubt about your sobriety.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in Poland

Drink beer and drive in Poland limit

Driving under the influence of alcohol poses significant risks to yourself and others on the road. In Poland, where the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is set at a strict 0.02%, it’s crucial to plan ahead to ensure you stay within legal limits. Here are some practical suggestions to avoid driving with a high BAC:

  1. Leverage Ride-Hailing Apps and Local Taxi Services: Utilizing taxi services is a straightforward and effective way to avoid driving after consuming alcohol. In major cities across Poland, such as Warsaw and Kraków, there are reliable taxi companies and ride-hailing apps available. In Warsaw, for instance, you can book a ride with Taxi Warszawa, while in Kraków, Green Streets TAXI offers a convenient service to get you home safely. These services provide a hassle-free alternative to driving, ensuring you can enjoy your outing without the risk of driving under the influence.
  2. Opt for Designated Driver Services: If you’ve driven to a location but then find yourself unable to safely drive back due to alcohol consumption, consider using a designated driver service. This is a fantastic option that allows you and your car to get home safely. In Warsaw, Night Drivers Warszawa provides such a service, and in Kraków, PartyDriver is another excellent choice. These services can be easily found with a quick internet search for “designated driver service” followed by the name of your city. This way, you don’t have to leave your car behind or compromise on safety.

By planning ahead and choosing alternatives to driving after drinking, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable time without the worry of exceeding Poland’s strict BAC limits. Whether it’s booking a taxi or employing a designated driver service, these solutions help maintain the safety and well-being of all road users.


Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Poland: Sad Statistics

From 2010 to 2018, Poland saw a significant decrease in alcohol-related road fatalities, with deaths falling from 455 to 370. This trend continued into 2019, with figures dropping further to 326 deaths, highlighting the impact of stringent drink-driving regulations.

Driving under the influence poses a severe risk to road safety, with even a single drink impairing driving abilities. It’s crucial for drivers to recognize the dangers of drunk driving and to consider alternatives like designated drivers, taxis, or other transportation methods if they’ve consumed alcohol.

To ensure compliance with legal limits, using a certified breathalyzer before driving can offer a reliable measure of blood alcohol content (BAC). For up-to-date information on drink-driving laws and safe driving practices in Poland, visiting the country’s official website is recommended.

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.