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Danish soccer player Niklas Bendtner is paying a heavy price for drunk driving without a valid license this past Sunday in downtown Copenhagen. On Tuesday, Bendtner was been fined the equivalent of $147,000US and had his driving privileges revoked for three years. Also, the Danish Football Association suspended Bendtner from international play for six months.

How did the courts settle on such a high fine? In Denmark, a person’s drunk driving fine is calculated by dividing a person’s salary by 2.5, then multiplying that number by the person’s BAC. The combination of a professional footballer’s salary and a high BAC, 0.175 for Bendtner, came out to be the highest drunk driving fine in Denmark’s history, according to the Copenhagen Post.

Bendtner’s lawyer called the fine “completely out of proportion” when other drunk drivers in Denmark would pay far, far less. The maximum BAC in Denmark is 0.05 BAC in Denmark and much of the European Union, versus 0.08 BAC in the United States.

Nicklas Bendter

In the United States, the cost of a DUI can run into the thousands of dollars between legal fees, fines, court costs, alcohol monitoring, and school/counseling costs, as well as the increased cost you’ll pay for insurance, among other fees.

Is the portion of Denmark’s fine equation that’s based on salary fair, or is a drunk driver a drunk driver, no matter what their income? Do you think this model would deter more people from driving drunk?

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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