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Drinking and driving in Switzerland

The legal limit of alcohol in the blood while driving in Switzerland is set below 0.5 ‰ grams of alcohol per liter of blood (0.25 mg per liter of exhaled air), except for “professional drivers” and “new drivers” who are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol.

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.5 ‰ and 0.79‰ grams of alcohol per liter of blood (0.25 and 0.39 mg per liter of exhaled air) is a light offense (LCR 91 para 1 lit. a).

Driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.8 ‰ grams of alcohol per liter of blood (0.4 mg per liter of exhaled air) is a serious offense (LCR 91 para. 2 lit. a).

Penalties incurred

In the case of a minor misconduct (between 0.5 ‰ and 0.79‰ grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.25 and 0.39 mg per liter of exhaled air), in the absence of a prior record, the administrative authority will issue a warning.

In case of serious misconduct (more than 0.8 ‰ gram of alcohol per liter of blood 0.4 mg per liter of exhaled air), in the absence of a previous record, the administrative authority will pronounce a license withdrawal of a minimum of three months.

You can get a personalized penalty estimate based on your specific case (including the amount of the fine) by trying our free virtual assistant.

Withdrawal of security or preventive permits

When a driver drives with a blood alcohol concentration of 1.6 ‰ grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.8 mg per liter of exhaled air a preventive license withdrawal will, by law, be mandatory (LCR 15d al. 1 lit. a).

An expertise will then be carried out, which will aim to determine the driver’s aptitude to drive. If the expert opinion concludes that the driver is unfit to drive (for example, because of a suspected alcohol addiction), a safety withdrawal will be issued.

For more information on security and preventive withdrawal issues, we invite you to consult our page dealing specifically with license withdrawals.

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