Holiday driving warning as Brits are TWENTY times more likely to be breathalysed in top destination than in UK

BRIT motorists are being warned they are 20 times more likely to be breathalyzed in a top holiday destination than in the UK.

Authorities in France tested a whopping 109 drivers per 1,000 in 2021, compared to just five per 1,000 in the UK.

Britons are 20 times more likely to be breathalysed in France than in the UK


Britons are 20 times more likely to be breathalysed in France than in the UKCredit: Alamy

With alcohol limits across Europe also being much lower than in England and Wales, it’s all too easy to break the law when driving abroad this summer.

In Spain, 96 roadside breath alcohol tests are carried out per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 155 in Austria and 160 in Portugal.

The legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – the highest in Europe.

It’s only 50mg in France and most other European countries, but luckily many UK drivers are unaware that driving abroad takes less alcohol to break the law.

In a survey by breathalyser testing company AlcoSense, only 17% of people in France got the drink driving limit right.

But drivers have been warned the penalties are severe.

If you’re over the English limit of 80mg in France, you face a hefty fine of up to £3,800 and possibly two years in prison.

“It’s a lot easier than you think to be under the influence in the morning after having a few drinks the night before,” said Hunter Abbott, AlcoSense’s chief executive officer.

“If you drink four pints of medium-strength beer or four tall glasses of wine, it can take up to 14 hours for the alcohol to completely cleanse your body.”

He advises motorists to buy a double pack of single-use breathalysers, officially certified to French NF standards.

They may cost £5.99, but Abbott says they’re worth it as they “take the guesswork out of the equation”.

“The other point to note is that random breath tests are being carried out in all European countries except Germany and Malta.

“In the UK you can only get tested if you’ve committed a traffic offence, been involved in an accident or the police have reason to believe you’ve been drinking,” he added.

In other European countries, drink driving limits are even lower.

In Poland, Sweden and Estonia the limit is 20 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood – while in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania the limit is close to zero.

The warning comes after Britons were warned they could face a fine of up to £650 for using sunbeds in Spain.

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They have also been warned of increased fines of up to £520 if caught drinking on the streets of Barcelona.

And sun-seekers in Mallorca now face a £800 fine if they jump into the Mediterranean, prompting a series of serious incidents.

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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