The legal limit is 0.25 mg of alcohol per litre of breath for drivers in general. For certain categories of driver, however, the limit is set at 0.1 mg per litre of breath, in particular:

  • driving test candidates,
  • learner drivers,
  • instructors during practical driving lessons,
  • accompanying persons during supervised driving,
  • drivers of emergency service vehicles,
  • drivers of vehicles used for the carriage of dangerous goods,
  • drivers of taxis, hire cars, ambulances and breakdown vehicles,
  • drivers of buses, coaches, lorries and tractor units,
  • drivers of all vehicles used for paid passenger transport and
  • any driver of a vehicle who has not reached the age of 18 years.

List of drink-driving penalties

Alcohol level   Fine Points deducted Driving licence seized immediately Arrest report Prison
mg/l (breath)          
< 0.25 < 0.5          
0.25 < 0.35 0.5 < 0.8 €145  2  


 0.35 < 0.55  0.8 < 1.2  up to €500  4    Yes  
  ≥ 0.55  ≥ 1.2  €500 to €10,000  6   Yes  Yes 8 days to 3 years


The fixed penalty notice is a financial penalty that must be paid to the police officer at the scene. The arrest report is sent to the judicial authority and may result in a fine and/or, if applicable, a prison sentence (in the event of an offence), as ruled by the court.

The Police breath test is mandatory. If a test is refused, the licence is seized at the scene.

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