EU to introduce a two-year zero-tolerance alcohol limit for all novice drivers

  • March 1, 2023

The European Transport Safety Council has welcomed significant changes to EU rules on driving licences and cross-border enforcement of traffic offenses, which could significantly reduce injuries and deaths among novice drivers and help ensure that dangerous drivers face penalties for a wider range of traffic offenses committed across borders.   

Among the legal changes proposed today:

  • Novice drivers to be subject to a zero-tolerance alcohol limit for a minimum of two years after passing their test. Member States will be encouraged to restrict other high-risk activities during this period such as driving with other youngsters or at night.
  • Driver disqualification should apply in future in all EU Member States, not just the country where driving offenses were committed.
  • Member States will be able to follow-up on seven new road traffic offenses committed by non-resident drivers including wrong-way driving and dangerous overtaking.

Graziella Jost, Director of Projects at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) commented:

“New figures released last week showed that road deaths in the EU are not decreasing fast enough to hit the crucial target of halving deaths and serious injuries by 2030.  So it’s good to see the EU getting serious about road safety today.  Today’s driving licence proposals include an important measure to keep novice drivers safer and we hope Member States will also build on these measures. 

“Member States will also now have the power to ensure that a wider range of driving offenses committed by non-resident drivers can be followed up across borders.  That’s welcome, as is the new possibility for driving disqualifications to apply across the EU.  It’s now up to Member States and the European Parliament to ensure this package doesn’t get watered down on the often treacherous road to becoming law.”