In connection with endangering road traffic (Section 315c of the German Criminal Code), there is often talk of the seven deadly sins. What is this all about? How can you defend yourself? You can find out all this and more here. Traffic Lawyer Berlin

What is road traffic endangerment?

Road traffic endangerment under alcohol or drugs

Road endangerment by the seven "deadly sins"

    Driving the wrong way while overtaking

    Driving the wrong way at crosswalks

    Disregarding the right-hand drive rule at blind spots

    Failure to make broken-down or stopped vehicles visible to the driver

What is the penalty for endangering traffic?
How can I best defend myself? Fachanwalt bei Fahrerflucht

1 What is endangering road traffic?

Endangering road traffic is a criminal offense. It is regulated in Section 315c of the German Criminal Code (StGB). The provision first distinguishes between two types of violations. On the one hand, there is participation in road traffic in a state incapable of driving (especially under the influence of alcohol). On the other hand, there are the so-called “seven deadly sins” of road traffic. These are massive traffic violations that the law lists in order.

In each case, the driver’s behavior must have actually or almost resulted in an accident. As Section 315c of the Criminal Code makes clear, the traffic violations must have endangered another person or a valuable object. This is also referred to as concrete endangerment. This means that neither people have to be injured nor things damaged. It must only be possible to establish that an accident has just not occurred (so-called near-accident).


After a meeting with former friends, A gets into his car despite excessive alcohol consumption and drives off. On the way home, he recognizes pedestrian B, who wants to cross the road in front of him, only with a delay due to the alcohol. A brakes at the last moment. The car comes to a halt just before a collision. By a hair’s breadth, a serious accident would have occurred.

The standard reads as follows:

“Whoever in road traffic

  1. drives a vehicle although he

a) as a result of drinking alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substances or

b) as a result of mental or physical deficiencies

is not in a position to drive the vehicle safely, or

  1. contrary to traffic regulations and recklessly

a) does not observe the right of way

b) overtakes incorrectly or otherwise drives incorrectly when overtaking,

c) drives the wrong way at crosswalks,

d) drives too fast at blind spots, road crossings, road junctions or railroad crossings,

e) fails to keep to the right side of the roadway at blind spots,

f) turns, reverses or drives against the direction of travel on freeways or highways or attempts to do so, or

g) does not indicate stopped or immobilized vehicles at a sufficient distance, although this is necessary for the safety of traffic,

and thereby endangers the life or limb of another person or property of significant value to others, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine.”

Note: Vehicle in the sense of § 315c StGB does not necessarily have to be a passenger car. Mopeds or even bicycles are also covered.

Since endangering road traffic is not only present when one or more people are endangered, endangering property is also sufficient. An object is considered to be of significant value if it has a value of 750.00 euros or more. In many cases it concerns passenger cars e.g. of the accident opponent, which exceed this value limit without further.

  1. road traffic endangerment under alcohol or drugs

Particularly frequently it comes in practice to the reproach, the driver endangered the road traffic under drug or alcohol influence in the sense of the § 315c StGB.

The following limits apply to alcohol-related impaired driving:

    From 1.1 ‰ a driver is considered irrefutably unfit to drive due to alcohol, i.e. absolutely unfit to drive.

    From 1.6 ‰, a cyclist is considered irrefutably unfit to drive due to alcohol, i.e. absolutely unfit to drive.

    From 0.3 ‰ one is relatively unfit to drive. This means that in addition to the existing blood alcohol concentration, certain signs of failure must occur in order to assume an inability to drive. This refers to driving errors, for example driving in serpentine lines. § In any case, Section 315c of the German Criminal Code only applies if there was at least a "near accident". The police or public prosecutor's office then usually refer to this event in order to prove the driver's inability to drive. In some cases, however, this is not very promising.

However, there are no limits for intoxicants or narcotics.

Incidentally, the offence also covers other “physical

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