Thinking About Alcohol Limits Before Driving In Poland? Check Here

Exceeding the alcohol limit while driving a car in Poland may be treated by police in two ways . It all depends on the level of alcohol you have in your blood. What is the acceptable limit of alcohol in the exhaled air or in the blood? When will we commit a crime, and when will we just commit a violation? What are the risks, from a legal point of view?

What is The Allowed Limit?

The permissible limit of alcohol in the human body to legally drive in Poland is a maximum of 0.1 mg/litre of exhaled air. That would be 0.2 per mille (‰) in the blood. When tested with a breathalyzer, the value displayed on it should be less than 0.2. Note that some of these devices already convert mg to per milles, so make sure you understand the units used. Only then can you be confident that you are not committing any violation or crime. 

What is enough to dring in Poland to exceed the limit? When drinking alcohol, it doesn’t take much to exceed the limit. Typically, one beer or 50 ml of vodka is sufficient to achieve a blood alcohol level of 0.25 per mille.

When is it a Crime to Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol in Poland?

You commit a crime if you are caught by a police officer and he tests you with a breathalyzer and it shows a level of more than 0.25 milligrams per liter (dm3) of alcohol in your breath. That means you have more than 0.5 per mille (‰) of alcohol in your blood. It is because it is assumed that there is twice as much alcohol in the blood as in the breath.

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It is important to stress that if you have exactly 0.25 mg/l of alcohol in the exhaled air (or 0.5 per mille (‰) of alcohol in the blood), then you are not yet committing this crime. It is just a violation. Only if you end up above these values you qualify for a criminal act.

When do You Commit an Unlawful Violation?

It is in this situation when you see a result on the police breathalyzer between 0.1 and 0.25 mg/l in the air that you exhale. That means when you have between 0.2 and 0.5 per mille (‰) of alcohol in your blood.

What penalties are There in Poland for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol?

There are two scenarios. Both depend on the limit of alcohol the driver exceeded. In the case of a criminal offense (theoretically), the driving ban is imposed for 3 years. There is also the obligation to pay a fine of PLN 5,000. It is possible to request a conditional dismissal in court which leads to a possibility of reducing these unpleasant consequences or sometimes even avoiding them completely.

Interestingly, if we are under the influence of alcohol up to the limit of 0,5 per mille (‰), we commit a violation (not a crime). In that case, there is no possibility for conditional dismissal and our driving license will be suspended for 6 months or even longer. This is a sure lack of consistency from the legislator.

Driving after drinking up to the limit of 0,5 ‰ (violation) is subject to the following penalties:

  • suspending the driver’s license and thus a driving ban for a minimum of 6 months or longer (up to 3 years). 
  • a fine from PLN 50 to PLN 5,000, 
  • a prison sentence of 5 to 30 days,
  • 10 penalty points (in Poland if you collect too many penalty points you can lose your driving license as well).

If you commit a crime (more than 0,5 ‰), you may face:

  • a driving ban for a minimum of 3 years
  • a fine depending on your income
  • imprisonment for up to 2 years
  • a fine of PLN 5,000 or more
  • 10 penalty points

The penalties may be seriously higher when the driver drives under the influence of alcohol for the second time (he or she is then a recidivist) and if, while driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she causes an accident. The penalty is determined by the court. 

How do you Measure the Per Mille (‰) of Alcohol in Your System?

By default, the alcohol concentration in the blood is specified in per mille, where 1 per mille ‰ means 100 mg of alcohol in 1 dl (deciliter) of blood. While trying to answer the question of how many per milles one may have in the system after drinking a particular dose of alcohol, the only reliable answer will be indicated by a laboratory blood test.

The second very accurate measurement method, and the most common, is the breathalyzer. The device determines the alcohol concentration in your exhaled air. Professional breathalyzers are used by the police in the first place, but any driver in Poland can purchase a similar device for private use.

So Is it legal to Drink a Beer and Drive?

Everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol, but experts assume that just after drinking one beer, the blood alcohol concentration averages about 0.26 per mille ‰. It is above the acceptable limit.

In fact, it is impossible to estimate how much a person can drink to avoid posing a danger on the road. It depends not only on the gender and weight of the driver, but also on the efficiency of the metabolic process. This is a very individual issue. The more alcohol is consumed, the longer it takes to neutralize it. It is often better to delay a trip in order not to risk losing your license and, above all, not to endanger yourself and other traffic participants.

Considering the fact that one beer may result in having 0,26 ‰ alcohol in the blood, it should be safe to drive 2 hours after finishing that beer. Obviously, the best thing is to have a breathalyzer and test yourself before you drive. It is possible to visit the local police station and ask the officer to let you use the device. Usually, the police are helpful. Just remember not to use the car to get to the station.

So When can I drive When I have drunk 200 ml of vodka?

There are 64 grams of pure ethanol in 200 ml of 40-percent vodka. Having consumed this amount of ethanol, an average man who weighs 75 kg has about 1.46 per mille (if he drank while ate nothing) or 0.98 per mille (if he was eating). With that much alcohol consumed, he needs an average of 6.5 hours to eliminate alcohol from the body. It is worth pointing out that the time „to recover” is always the same. This is due to the rate of alcohol metabolism, which stays independent.

By comparison, after consuming the same amount of vodka, a woman who weighs 70 kg has about 1.82 per mille (if she drank without a meal) or 1.21 per mille (if she was eating). The time it takes to metabolize it in this case is about 8.5 hours.

Is it okay to Drive with a Hangover?

I advise you not to drive for several hours even up to a day after drinking alcohol. This way you give your body time to recover and return to normal behavior.

How Good is Lemon and Water for a Hangover?

It is populat way to cure hangover – Lemon water can help you feel better. After a boozy party, before going to bed, it’s a good idea to grab a glass of water with lemon. Not only will it quench your thirst, but it will also help your stomach and liver through a difficult time.

When Can I drive After Drinking 3 beers?

In three beers measuring 500 ml each, and with a standard alcohol rate of 4.5%, there are 54 grams of pure alcohol. This means that a 75 kg man in will reach 1.24 per mille (without having eaten a meal) or 0.82 per mille (if he was eating). The time needed to completely sober up is 5.5 hours. After this period, the man can probably drive a car.

A woman who weighs 70 kg will have 1.55 per mille in her blood (eating) or 1.03 per mille (if she was was not eating) if she drank 3 beers. In her case, it will take about 6 h and 45 min to eliminate alcohol from her blood.

The indicated results are only a guidelines, and may vary individually. Therefore, if in any doubt, it is always worth postponing driving or checking with a breathalyzer.