‘Zero limit’ on alcohol for drivers under 21
January 10, 2009
Those under the age of 21 but of legal drinking age in Germany better not even take a sip of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
A new German law makes it verboten for motorists under the magic age of 21 to have any amount of alcohol in their system while driving. The law extends to American drivers both on and off U.S. bases and posts in Germany, according to a U.S. Army Europe press release.
Under German law, the legal drinking age is 16 for beer and wine products, and 18 for hard alcohol.
Drivers under 21 caught with booze or beer in their blood can face a 250 euro fine, the press release states. That’s about $350 with today’s exchange rate. You’ll also get two points added to your drivers’ license, and U.S. Army Europe will suspend your driving privileges, according to the press release.
A first-time infraction will cause you to lose driving rights for 30 days. The second time you get busted, you’ll be bumming rides or walking for 60 days, and a third infraction results in a license suspension of 90 days.
There is a small loophole. If you’re subject to the new law and you’re caught breaking it on a U.S. installation by the military police, you won’t face the hefty fine. However, you will receive a license suspension.
The so-called "zero limit" laws exist in several European countries and some American states.