Drinking and driving is one of the world’s most dangerous combinations. Some commentators liken drunk driving unto a driving accident just looking for somewhere to occur. As results, administrations of various countries have adapted various measures and rules in an attempt to stem the scourge of drunk driving. Now, these laws are affected by various issues such as culture, religion and the level of drunk driving. As a result, some of the laws adapted will vary from country to another with some even being unbelievable.
United States: The United States have one of the highest rates of drunk driving related accidents and deaths in the world. Each state have their own law based in the severity of the drunk driving cases. However, as a rule, most states will charge a driver once their blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08. Where it becomes unbelievable is when some states reduce this level to 0.05 and even charge drivers for DWI if they are found with open containers in their vehicle. These offenses can lead to jail time, suspension or loss of their license.
In Australia, the upper level for blood alcohol content is 0.05. This is reduced to 0.02 for new drivers and individuals who have only a learner’s permit. As usual, punishment for DWI in Australia comes in the form of fines, suspension of license or jail time. When it becomes strange is the law also imposes compulsory medical assessment of drivers before their driver’s license can be reinstated.
In most European countries, drunk driving is punishable by fines, suspension of license or jail time.
In France, DWI offenders get a fine equivalent of $1000, loss or suspension of their license for three years of at least one-year imprisonment.
Norway adopts a more stringent approach where drunk drivers are automatically jailed for three weeks at hard labor coupled with a license suspension for one year. If the repeat the offence they repeat the offence, then they lose their license forever.
Now many may be surprised that they have laws for DWI in Russia based on Russians long love affair with alcohol. Russia has one of the highest consumption rates of whiskey and vodka worldwide. However, if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you simply lose your driving license for life. Even upon the first offence.
Other countries have even gone even further in their DWI laws. In Saudi Arabia, DWI offences are punishable by lashes in the public square.
South Africa imposes fine equivalent of $10,000, a ten-year prison sentence or both combined depending on the severity of the case.
In Turkey, DWI offenders are taken twenty miles from their town and then told to walk back while escorted by the police.
El Salvador and Bulgaria:
Countries such as El Salvador and Bulgaria have gone to the extreme in punishing drunk drivers. In El Salvador, first time DWI offenders are carted off and executed by a firing squad. In Bulgaria, at least they are a little more lenient, as DWI offenders are only executed after they have committed their second DWI offence.