Drink Driving and Licence Penalty Points
There are strict laws regarding drinking and driving in Denmark, find out about these and penalties for traffic violations...
A valid driver's licence is required for all drivers in Denmark and it must clearly state what type of vehicle the licence is valid for. Denmark introduced a penalty point system in 2005 which operates for driving offences. Penalty points are given along with fines for certain road violations and penalty points are kept on the driver's file for three years. After this time if no other traffic offences have been committed, the points are deleted.
One penalty point is issued for each offence and after three penalty points (two for new drivers) within three years, the driver is conditionally suspended. Conditional suspension means that the driver may be able to keep their driver's licence if they complete and pass a driving test involving both a theory and practical test. This needs to be done within three months of being issued with a conditional suspension. If the test is failed, the police keep the driver's licence until the test is successfully passed.
Once a driver has been issued with a conditional suspension and passed the required driving test, the driver is then effectively on probation for the next three years, where any other traffic offences lead to the licence being suspended unconditionally for at least six months. Unconditional suspension also requires the driver to take a theory and practice test before being allowed to get their licence back again.
Penalty point offences
Traffic violations which result in one penalty point include:
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 percent
- Dangerous driving, including dangerous overtaking, dangerous manoeuvres, and racing
- Ignoring a red traffic light
- Driving slalom or too close to the vehicle in front
- Not ensuring children under 15 are wearing a seatbelt in a car or not ensuring that children under 18 wear a helmet on a motorcycle
- Violating rules about overtaking or increasing speed when being overtaken
- Not giving way to approaching traffic
- Driving in the emergency lane
Driving and Drinking
A driver is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol - driving drunk - in Denmark if the blood/alcohol level is equal to or exceeds 0.5g per thousand. This is strictly enforced and anyone caught breaking this limit incurs heavy fines and imprisonment.
If caught over the legal limit when involved in an accident in Denmark, a prison sentence is normally issued. First time offenders are likely to have their licences suspended and are required to go on self-paid obligatory alcohol and traffic courses. If alcohol levels are high, then greater penalties are enforced and repeat offenders risk a prison sentence.
Regular enforcement campaigns are normal in Denmark especially during holiday periods where motorists may be stopped at random and tested for alcohol in their blood. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.