Drinking and driving: what is an administrative offence and when does the criminal law apply?

Generally speaking there is a zero tolerance of alcohol in blood when driving in the Czech Republic. When stopped by the police the police officer is entitled to ask you for alcohol test from your breath. You can also be asked for the blood test that is done by a doctor.

However, you shouldn’t be asked for a blood test if you agree with the results of the breath alcohol tester.

If you refuse to undergo the test, it could be considered an administrative offence and you can get a financial penalty and also a driving ban.

In the case that the test proved a certain amount of alcohol in your body – less than 1 per mille (per mille is the unit used in the Czech Republic for BAC blood alcohol concentration measurements), it will be considered an administrative offence and the situation will be solved in the proceeding held by the municipal authority, usually sanctioned by the financial penalty or/and a driving ban for a certain period.

In the case that the test proved a greater amount of alcohol than 1 per mille, your act will be considered the criminal offence called “endangerment under the influence of addictive substance”. The proceedings are then held by the criminal court and the most severe punishment could be up to one year of imprisonment.

In the case you have already been caught drinking and driving, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers are ready to help you whether it is a criminal offence or an administrative one.

Barbora Karetova


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