New law in Poland: cars will be taken away for “drunkenness”

Starting from March 14, amendments to the Criminal Code, which provide for the confiscation of a car from a drunk driver, will come into force in Poland.

Cars will be confiscated from drunken people, but unlike Latvia, where confiscated cars are transferred to Ukraine, Poland will sell them at auction for half the price. Any Pole who has no financial obligations to the state will be able to participate in the campaign.

The main reason for confiscating the car will be the presence of more than 1.5 ppm of alcohol in the driver’s blood. In this case, the police seize the car immediately. However, this rate can be three times lower, i.e. 0.5 ppm, if the driver caused an accident. This is also a good reason to get rid of the car.

The car will also be seized in favor of the state even from a sober driver if he or she has committed an accident and fled the scene.

In any of the above circumstances, the police were entitled to take the car for 7 days. The court will decide the car’s fate.

The driver of the seized car does not have to worry about his or her car: the vehicle will be carefully taken to a special site and washed before the auction. The new owner will take care of it from now on. Photo:

There is one more nuance here. If a drunk driver was driving a car that was not his or her own, the court may recover from him or her an amount equivalent to the value of that vehicle.

A slightly different sanction applies if a drunk driver drives a company car. Such a driver is subject to a fine of 5,000 to 60,000 zlotys, which in conversion will be from 49,000 to 588,000 hryvnias. The offender pays this money to the Victims’ Assistance Fund and the Post-Prison Assistance Fund.

Dorota Olszewska, head of the Partnership for Road Safety association, reminds us that an average of 255 people drive drunk on Polish roads every day. In 2024 alone, 14,816 cases of drunk drivers were recorded in Poland.

“Strict rules are needed to act as a deterrent, but that’s not all. Society needs to realize the scale of the problem and its consequences. The government, non-governmental organizations, media and business representatives should be involved in such activities,” Olshevska explains.

In any case, drunk drivers, regardless of citizenship, will lose their car, and Ukrainians in Poland should take this into account. Photo: Polish police

According to Gazeta Wrocławska, in 2023, almost 93 thousand cars driven by drunk drivers were stopped on Polish roads.

However, the attitude to car confiscation in Poland is ambiguous, with many considering the provision unconstitutional.

“The value of a car and the amount of danger it creates are not always correlated. Someone driving a cheap car can cause a much greater risk in traffic than someone driving an expensive car, and vice versa. And it is the level of the threat created or the size of the consequences caused that should determine the amount of the fine,” said Professor Andrzej Sakowicz of the University of Bialystok.

There is one more important detail: in Poland, a drunk driver is not protected by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy – this is one of the few situations where the insurer usually does not have to pay compensation to the owner of a broken and insured car.


Source auto.24tv
You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More