Portugal is amongst the countries with the highest rates of road deaths in the European Union and the majority of causes of mortality in Portugal are road accidents.

Several factors have an influence when calculating the blood content level. Apart from quantity, the type of alcohol and quality the number can be affected by age, weight, health, sex and when the drink was ingested.

Police car Portugal

Portuguese police frequently will make random alcohol limit checkpoints.
© Photo: Porto-Airport-car-rental.com

Allowed alcohol levels Portugal

It is essential to know the allowed alcohol limits whether you are driving on a daily basic or planning to hire a car during your holiday in Portugal. According to several surveys small quantities of alcohol has influence on the driver’s behavior.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.5 grams per litre of blood. If you are driving and your blood alcohol content measures over 0.5 grams per litre, you incur penalties of different gravity, varying based on the registered levels of blood alcohol content.

· You are liable to a fine from 250-1250 euros and a prohibition from driving for a period between a month to a year, if your blood alcohol level is between 0,5 g/l and 0,8 g/l.

· If your measured blood alcohol level is 0,8 g/l and 1,2 g/l, you can risk a fine from 500 to 2.500 euros and a ban from driving for two months to two years.

· If the blood alcohol level is measured to 1,2 g/l or more, is considered as a crime in Portugal and you will be looking forward to prison and you will not be allowed to drive for the next three months to three years.

Portugal introduce new legal alcohol limits

New legal alcohol limits were published by the Portuguese authorities back in 2013 to increase the road safety and prevent drink driving. A handful of other countries have also made similar tightening, among them the United States, Japan, Australia and Sweden.

Following the tightening of the legal alcohol limit for drivers less than 21 years of age, the USA has registered a decrease of 17% to 23% of the road mortality rate.

The table below shows the maximum drink driving limit in Europe for different groups. The figures are state in grams per litre.

Table – Maximum drink driving limits across Europe

*From December 2014 Scotland changed to 0.5 for all groups. Northern Ireland, Wales and England are still unchanged.