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Many countries in Europe have heavy fines for traffic offences

German automobile club ADAC has warned drivers of heavy fines in other European countries.

In many European countries fines for excessive speed, parking violations and drunk driving are far higher than in Germany. According to the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC), the highest of all are in Norway, followed by Sweden and Italy. Driving 20 kilometers per hour over the limit will cost you at least 420 euros ($470) in Norway, 270 euros ($301) in Sweden and 170 euros ($190) in Italy.

The fines are particularly heavy when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. In Norway a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.2 will set you back 600 euros ($670) or more. In Germany fines begin at a level of 0.5, which will cost the driver 500 euros ($558). Jail sentences begin at a BAC of 1.0 (Sweden) and 1.2 (Spain).

Driving while on the phone without a hands-free set can also get rather pricey: 230 euros ($257) in the Netherlands, 200 euros ($223) in Denmark and 160 euros ($178) in Italy. In Germany the same offence costs just 60 euros ($67).

The Netherlands and Norway also top the list of fines for parking violations with 90 euros ($100). In Germany you can expect to pay no more than 65 euros ($73) - and even then only if your vehicle is blocking the emergency services.

ey/ak/fl (dpa, AFP)