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

Alcohol driving limit in Serbia

Serbia has adopted a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold of 0.02% or 0.2 grams per liter (g/L) of blood. The BAC level of 0.02% is typically reached after consuming one standard drink, although this can vary depending on various factors. Novice and professional drivers are strictly prohibited from consuming any amount of alcohol.

This article intends to educate readers and raise awareness of the hazards of drunk driving in Serbia. It is crucial to emphasize that this website neither supports nor encourages driving under the influence of alcohol.

The number of alcohol-related fatalities in Serbia has been stagnant in recent years. This is evident in the consistent number of deaths recorded: 92 in 2020, 92 in 2019, and 93 in 2018.

To address this concern, the Road Traffic Safety Agency has established a Working Group tasked with developing a Road Safety Strategy for the period spanning from 2022 to 2030. This strategy will involve implementing 31 measures and 250 activities to improve road safety.

Intoxicated driving poses significant risks to your safety and other individuals on the road. To eliminate these hazards, you must refrain from driving after consuming alcohol.

If you need to travel, consider utilizing services such as designated drivers, taxis, or alternative modes of transportation.

Following regulations and laws regarding driving under the influence is of utmost importance. You must be aware of your blood alcohol content before operating a vehicle. The most accurate method to determine your BAC is by employing a breathalyzer.

For further information regarding Serbia’s regulations and restrictions on drunk driving, you may visit the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) official website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Serbia

After consuming your first alcoholic beverage, the effects of intoxication may begin to manifest. Alcohol has the capacity to impair your cognitive function, leading to impaired judgment and behavior that deviates from your normal sober state. Consequently, driving under the influence significantly increases the risk of causing a collision.

Once alcohol is consumed, it typically takes 30 minutes to 2 hours for it to enter your system. Driving while intoxicated is a substantial threat, as it adversely affects several crucial aspects of your driving abilities, including:

  • Perceptual distortions of distance and speed
  • Slowed reaction time and diminished coordination
  • Unpredictable and erratic behavior
  • Impaired vision or visual distortion
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors
  • Increased aggression

Even if you may not appear or feel drunk, signs of intoxication can still be present. Therefore, driving under the influence greatly jeopardizes your road safety. Consuming alcohol generates a false sense of confidence, frequently leading to reckless actions.

Although Serbia enforces a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.02%, it is essential to note that not everyone reaches a BAC level of 0.02% after consuming just one drink.

Several factors contribute to the variation in individuals’ BAC levels, including:

  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Level of hunger
  • Stress levels
  • Quantity of alcohol consumed
  • Use of medication

There are instances where you may not feel intoxicated, but your ability to drive can already be impaired by alcohol. In some cases, the effects of alcohol may become apparent while a person is already driving.

While BAC charts and BAC calculators can roughly estimate how many alcoholic drinks you can consume before driving, it’s important to remember that each person responds differently to alcohol. Therefore, these tools may not be universally applicable.

Using a licensed alcohol breathalyzer remains the most reliable method for accurately determining your BAC level.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Serbia

Consuming alcohol can have a profound impact on one’s ability to drive. Even a little alcohol can impair judgment and coordination.

At BAC levels ranging from 0.010% to 0.029%, the signs of impairment may not be readily apparent. However, as BAC levels rise, the symptoms of intoxication become more noticeable.

Penalties and laws concerning drunk driving vary across different countries. Driving while under the influence in Serbia can result in severe consequences, including substantial fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is advisable to check your blood alcohol level before getting behind the wheel and ensure you are fit to drive safely.

Below, we have outlined the penalties associated with drunk driving in Serbia.

BAC Level Between 0.02% to 0.05%

  • Fines: €80
  • Temporary License Suspension: 12 hours

BAC Level Between 0.051% to 0.08%

  • Fines: €100 to €180
  • Temporary License Suspension: 24 hours
  • Driving Ban: Three months
  • Penalty Points: Six points

BAC Level Between 0.081% to 0.12%

  • Fines: €180 to €360
  • Temporary License Suspension: 24 hours
  • Driving Ban: Four months
  • Penalty Points: Eight points

BAC Level Between 0.12% to 0.16%

  • Fines or Jail Time: €850 to €1,000 or at least 15 days in jail
  • Temporary License Suspension: 24 hours
  • Driving Ban: Eight months
  • Penalty Points: Nine points

BAC Level Between 0.161% to 0.20%

  • Fines or Jail Time: €850 to €1,000 or at least 15 days in jail
  • Temporary License Suspension: 24 hours
  • Driving Ban: Eight months
  • Penalty Points: 14 points

BAC Level Exceeding 0.20%

  • Fines: €1,000 to €1,200
  • Jail Time: 30 to 60 days of imprisonment or 10 to 15 days of community service
  • Temporary License Suspension: 24 hours
  • Driving Ban: Nine months
  • Penalty Points: 15 points

When Can You Drink and Drive in Serbia?

As mentioned earlier, several factors can influence blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Research indicates that men and women have differences in their BAC levels due to the varying presence of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes.

Men generally possess a higher quantity of ADH enzymes responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Consequently, men tend to process alcohol more efficiently than women.

The recommendations provided below can serve as a guideline to estimate how much alcohol you can tolerate before driving in Serbia. However, it is crucial to recognize that individual responses to alcohol can vary significantly, and these estimations may not apply to everyone.

If you need to drive after drinking, it is advisable to completely abstain from consuming alcohol. Even one glass of alcoholic beverages can affect your vision and increase the likelihood of taking excessive risks.

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

Drink beer and drive in Serbia limit

Weight is an additional factor that can influence blood alcohol levels. BAC charts indicate that individuals with lower body weights generally experience higher BAC levels.

To illustrate, a man weighing 72 kilograms (160 pounds) who consumes 350 ml (12-ounce) beer may reach a BAC of 0.02%. A woman of the same weight and drinking the same quantity of beer may have a BAC of 0.03%. This comparison demonstrates the impact of gender on alcohol metabolism.

Based on this example, it is advisable to refrain from consuming any amount of beer before driving in Serbia.

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

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

Referring back to the previous example, a man weighing 72 kilograms (160 pounds) who consumes a single glass of wine could reach a BAC of 0.02%.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that several factors, such as stress, an empty stomach, and the use of drugs, can impact individual BAC levels.

Therefore, avoiding drinking wine before driving is advisable to prioritize safety on the road.

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

Distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey typically have an ABV of 40%.

To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario: a man weighing 72 kilos (160 pounds) can reach a BAC of 0.02% after consuming a single shot of either drink. Similarly, a woman of the same weight consuming the same amount may have a BAC of 0.03%.

Please keep in mind that these BAC values are approximate, as various factors, such as stress, medications, and an empty stomach, can influence individual BAC levels.

Therefore, it is advisable to abstain from consuming whiskey or vodka if you plan on driving later.

Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Serbia

Driving under the influence poses a significant threat to the safety of all road users. Consuming just one alcoholic beverage can impair a driver’s coordination and overall driving abilities. It is crucial for drivers to be fully aware of the dangers associated with intoxicated driving and take proactive steps to avoid it.

Regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed, monitoring your BAC before getting behind the wheel is essential. If there is any uncertainty about your driving ability, it is strongly advised to consider alternative modes of transportation.

Using a certified alcohol breathalyzer to assess your BAC level before driving is a reliable approach to determining whether you are within legal limits. 

For the most up-to-date information on drinking and driving laws in Serbia, we recommend visiting ETSC’s official website.

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.