You can't just sleep it off

DEKRA Info January/February 2018

glas with alcohol and driver license

Alcohol in the blood underestimated:

DEKRA traffic experts warn all those intending to go drinking during the carnival season not to underestimate the after-effects of the various high-proof drinks they will be consuming. People aiming to go partying during the carnival season must be aware that they will be nowhere near fully sober when they wake up the next morning. This means, for example, that carnival revelers who partied until early morning often underestimate the after-effects of alcohol. For instance, someone who still has a blood alcohol concentration of 1.6 per mil at 4 o’clock in the morning needs to wait at least until the afternoon (around 11 to 16 hours) until the body has completely broken down the alcohol in their blood.

Thomas Wagner, departmental head at the officially approved assessment center for driving suitability at DEKRA, says that “the potential risk emanating from the residual alcohol in the bloodstream is frequently underestimated. There is definitely no miracle cure capable of breaking down the alcohol remaining in the blood faster than the body can. You may well feel fresher after a cup of coffee, but it hardly has any effect on the alcohol concentration in your blood.” If you are going to be at parties that last into the early hours, it is recommended to take the following day off work, or desist from jumping behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, or operating a machine.

In case you are endangering other road users, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.3 is sufficient to put your driving license at risk. And in the event of an accident it is more than enough in the eyes of the law to be treated as a criminal offender. Consequences can be that the motorists potentially lose their driving license for between six months and five years. What's more, there is the loss of insurance cover and a fine that could cost a month's salary. If you drive with a BAC of 0.5, you risk a fine of 500 euros, a two point endorsement in Flensburg and a driving ban of one month.

“Even low quantities of alcohol are enough to reduce the ability to react and increase the willingness to take risks,” reminds Wagner. For motorists with a BAC level of 0.5, the risk of an accident is doubled; at 0.8 it is four times higher and at 1.1 more than ten times as high. “This is why it is always advisable to keep well away from the wheel of a car after a night out on the town.”


Tilman Vögele-Ebering

Press officer Industrial


Phone +49.711.7861-2122

Fax +49.711.7861-742122

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