International BAC Limits

If you plan to travel outside of the United States and drive a vehicle you should know the legal limits for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ahead of time. You may be surprised to learn just how strict the tolerances are in some countries. The norm in the USA is .08% with any levels above that mark considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Countries that share this limit include Great Britain, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, and Malaysia.

Throughout most of Western Europe the limit is .05%. Other non-European countries that enforce .05 BAC include Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Turkey, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Argentina. Many of these countries also enforce tighter restrictions on younger drivers as well as those who drive professionally like delivery services and taxi cab drivers.

If you will be driving in Japan or Uruguay be prepared to limit yourself to a single drink before driving. They enforce a strict .03% BAC limit. Sweden and China take it a notch further at just .02%. Is it even worth ordering a drink in these places? At such low levels it might make more sense to just ban alcohol consumption and driving all together. Countries that enforce such a ban include Romania, Hungary, Jordan, Morocco, and Panama.

On the other end of the spectrum are countries with no limits on alcohol consumption and driving. Be sure to wear a helmet if you venture out on the roads in Bhutan, the Congo, Ethiopia, or the Dominican Republic as you may encounter many free wheeling drunkards. There are no DUI laws in these places.