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Posted by
4962 posts

It's .05%.

Germany uses a pro-mille measurement, or 0,5

This is only one of a dozen or so excellent reasons for NOT renting a car in Germany.

On trains you enjoy the ride with a beer or whatever in the dining car, or at your seat (BYOB if you like.)

Posted by
1063 posts

I have been to Germany multiple times. I worked there for 3 months and my son was stationed in Germany and we visited him often. It is a pleasure to drive in Germany. Much safer and easier than in the US. Just don't drink and drive.

Posted by
5305 posts

Don’t try to “beat” the blood-alcohol limits for driving. It is better not to drink anything if you plan on driving.

Posted by
30888 posts

I agree with the others, don't drink any alcoholic beverages if you have a rental car, as it doesn't take long to reach the .05 limit.

Posted by
1378 posts

Fully agree to other posts:
Do NOT drink and participate German street traffic (car, bicycle, pedestrian)!!!

Limit is 0.5 ‰. Penalties are very high.

Serious warning: in case of accident you may lose insurance coverage when any alcohol is found in blood. Even if you are a drunken pedestrian or cyclist and cause a traffic accident you will be charged for it. Experienced lawyers wait for your failure.

Details by ADAC (German AAA) you can find here.

Use DeepL for translation.

Posted by
337 posts

German law actually has two offences, creating three limits, even when excluding special circumstances (i.e. you're older than 20 years, the DL is older than two years, not a commercial vehicle, etc):

First: what Americans would call an infraction: § 24a StVG. This is what most in this thread are referring to:

driving a motor vehicle with 0.5 o/oo alcohol in blood or 0,25 mg/l in breath

Secondly: a criminal offence (§ 316 StGB) penalizing driving while knowingly not fit to drive. In regards to alcohol this means:
driving a motor vehicle with 0.3 o/oo alcohol in blood and 'driving errors' that show unfitness to drive
OR, driving a motor vehicle with 1.1 o/oo alcohol in blood

Posted by
29 posts

I only ask because I do like to have a glass of wine with dinner, but yes I agree best to not drink at all! No point in risking it

Posted by
17612 posts

It is a pleasure to drive in Germany. Much safer and easier than in the US.

Yes, it's safer to drive in Germany than in the US. 4.2 deaths per Bn vehicle km in Germany vs 7.3 in the U.S. So if you are going to drive, drive in Germany not the U.S. But,

Assuming 2 passengers in a German car at a time, that's 4.2 deaths 2 Bn passenger km or about 2.1 deaths/Bn passenger km.
Note: 4.2 is the death rate for cars driven by all drivers. German drivers undergo a much more extensive training in order to drive, and are probably safer. I suspect the death rate in Germany for cars being driven by Americans is higher.

Just for perspective, in 2015, traffic on rails in Germany was 80 Bn passenger km, so I estimate that over the decade (2010 - 2019, 2015 is the midpoint), Germany had 800 Bn rail passenger km. In that decade there were 21 passenger deaths So 21/800 is 0.0265 deaths/passenger km.

So, the death rate for all roads in Germany is 80 times as high as the rate per rail passenger km. By the same logic as for where you're driving, if you are traveling in Germany, you are far safer traveling by rail.