If you find yourself driving in any of these countries, make a note of these rather odd driving laws to avoid getting into trouble…
Costa Rica – This one concerns what you CAN do, as much as what you cannot. In Costa Rica, you can drink an alcoholic beverage whilst you are driving. Yes, you read that correctly: WHILST DRIVING! But before you take this as a free pass to be a drunk driver, the blood-alcohol limit is 0.75% and if you exceed this you’re going to jail. Of course, the most sensible advice is to never drink if you’re planning to drive, but in Costa Rica you wouldn’t be breaking the law.
Cyprus – Here you are forbidden from eating or drinking whilst driving. This includes a bottle of water (which seems fairly harsh in a country famed for its heat!). Either way, it’s against the law and a fine of €85 is heading your way if you get caught breaking it.
Russia – Think having a dirty car doesn’t matter? Well, in Russia it does. You can be fined 2,000 rubles (around £25) for not taking it to the car wash often enough. That’s a good enough incentive to keep your vehicle looking spic and span.
Germany – They drive a hard bargain, do the Germans. Before entering onto the Autobahn (the German motorway), make sure you have enough fuel to get you where you need to otherwise you’re breaking the law. Yes, stopping unnecessarily is against the law and because running out of fuel is 100% avoidable, expect to face the consequences should it happen.
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Spain – If you need glasses for driving in Spain, you must always keep a spare pair in your car. Not quite sure why this is a legal requirement, but it’s always useful to know where a spare pair are located.
Sweden – Day or night, summer or winter; it’s all the same in Sweden: your headlights must remain on at ALL times.
France – We’re used to the police carrying breathalysers in this country, but in France you’re required to carry your own. This allows you to check whether you’re over the limit or not before you get in your car. A pretty smart way to avoid fines or driving bans.
Japan – It goes without saying that you should never get in a car with a drunk driver (or let them drive in the first place). But in Japan you can be arrested for being the passenger of a drunk driver, even if you’re sober. An unusual law perhaps, but a very sensible one too.
Cyprus – We’ve all made a gesture or two in frustration at a fellow motorist’s questionable driving skills, but don’t think about doing this in Cyprus. You can be fined for raising your hand from the wheel, although in some cases it’s probably worth it.
Alabama, USA – And the most bizarre law goes last. In the U.S. state of Alabama, it’s illegal for people to drive while blindfolded. Yes, they apparently need a law to ensure this doesn’t happen. Which begs the question, how many times HAS it happened?!