Since 1 January 2014, driving a heavy vehicle after drinking any amount of alcohol is prohibited. Heavy vehicles include fire engines and many farm vehicles. In particular this strict rule has made life difficult for farmers and volunteer fire brigades, which form a large part of Swiss fire services. Sometimes these people need to be available to spring into action and drive in unexpected events. If at the time they have recently consumed any alcohol, even a single glass, they cannot drive under current laws.
So the Swiss parliament agreed to change the current rules to allow emergency drivers to drive heavy vehicles up to a blood alcohol limit of 50mg per 100ml. As well as firemen the new rules will be applied to police, customs, ambulance and other emergency services personnel. For farmers the current strict prohibition will only apply to vehicles that go faster than 45 km per hour.
On 1 January 2014 new stricter rules on drinking and driving were introduced in Switzerland as part of a packages of rules called Via sicura. Under these changes certain groups could not drive with blood alcohol concentrations above 10mg per 100ml. These low drink levels effectively mean no drinking before driving. Those groups subject to the 2014 Via sicura rules include professional drivers, new drivers, learners, driving instructors and those accompanying learners. The normal blood alcohol limit is 50mg per 100ml.