Drink Driving

Austria launches alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme

Austria launches alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme

Austria has launched a voluntary rehabilitation programme for drink driving offenders using alcohol interlocks following successful trials run in 2012 and 2013. Convicted drink drivers can opt in to the scheme to enable them to get back behind the wheel when they have completed half of their driving ban period (subject to a minimum of four months).  The programme, which launched in September, is the first to require participants to meet regularly with a mentor. Data from the devices will be monitored and violations […]

Irish parliament debates automatic disqualification for drink drivers

Irish parliament debates automatic disqualification for drink drivers

ETSC has joined calls for a tougher law on drink driving in Ireland.  The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 is currently working its way through the Irish legislative process but has faced opposition from pub owners and members of parliament representing rural areas. One of the government’s proposed changes is automatic disqualification of drivers found with a blood alcohol level of between 0.5 and 0.8g/l.  Currently offenders caught in that range face a €200 fine and three penalty points with only those caught over […]

Swedish government backs research project to develop next generation interlocks

Swedish government backs research project to develop next generation interlocks

A new project launched by the Swedish Transport Administration and the police is investigating future technological solutions to prevent drink driving. The project will investigate in-car sensors that can check alcohol levels through a simple touch or by detecting the driver’s breath circulating in the vehicle.  The transport administration says such technologies have the potential to free up police from carrying out time intensive road side breath tests. The new sensor project has just begun and is expected to be completed by 2021. About a […]

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

50 years after the UK first introduced breath testing and blood alcohol limits, a motorists’ organisation has backed calls to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers in England and Wales for the first time. While the 0.8g/l limit has been in place since a legal maximum was introduced in 1967, Scotland took the decision to cut to 0.5 in December 2014 and Northern Ireland is in the process of doing the same. The limit in almost all other European countries is 0.5 or […]

Billionaire’s EUR 25,000 drink driving fine puts means-tested penalties in the spotlight

Billionaire’s EUR 25,000 drink driving fine puts means-tested penalties in the spotlight

A Norwegian billionaire that recorded a BAC level three times higher than the legal limit has been banned from driving and handed a 250,000 krone fine (EUR 25,000).  But the fine could have been much higher as, under Norwegian law, fines are linked to monthly income and in some cases overall wealth. 22 year-old Katharina G. Andresen, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, reportedly could have been faced with a fine worth up to EUR 5 million.  However the judge concluded that Ms Andresen’s […]

Finland: overwhelming majority support in-car technology to prevent drink driving

Finland: overwhelming majority support in-car technology to prevent drink driving

A survey carried out for ETSC’s Finnish member Liikenneturva has found that nine out of ten Finns have a positive view of in-car technology that can prevent drink driving such as alcohol interlocks. Finland has had a nationwide rehabilitation programme for drink drivers, coupled with the use of alcohol interlocks fitted in offenders’ vehicles since 2008. A 2013 evaluation found the effects on participants to be positive and that the programme has prevented 12,000 instances of driving under the influence of alcohol. The poll […]

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Three quarters of people that admitted to driving after taking drugs, usually cannabis, in a poll said they had also mixed the drug taking with alcohol, according to AWSR, an ETSC member in Belgium. Roughly 1 in 10 of those polled admitted to drink driving over the previous twelve months, twice as many as admitted taking drugs before driving. AWSR was particularly concerned about the levels of ignorance of the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs. Almost half believed that taking […]

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers on work-related journeys in France are more likely to engage in risky behaviours than those on private trips according to a report by Axa, an insurer.   The research found that 88% of drivers speed on work business, compared to 82% on private trips. Similar differences were found for driving while fatigued, distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.   The study was carried out before legal changes that now require companies in France to reveal who was driving a company vehicle in the case […]

17 October 2017 – Alcohol interlocks for drink driving offenders: what can Switzerland learn from other countries?

17 October 2017 – Alcohol interlocks for drink driving offenders: what can Switzerland learn from other countries?

17 October 2017, 10:00 – 13:00 bfu/bpa Conference Room Hodlerstrasse 5a, 3011 Bern, Switzerland The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu/bpa) organised the Safe and Sober Talk “Alcohol interlocks for drink driving offenders: what can Switzerland learn from other countries?” on 17 October 2017. During the Safe an Sober Talk, the use of alcohol interlocks as part of rehabilitation programmes was discussed with representatives from the Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO/ASTRA), the Road Traffic Office of the Canton […]

Statement from ETSC on the proposed revision to the Irish Drink Driving Law

Statement from ETSC on the proposed revision to the Irish Drink Driving Law

ETSC supports the Irish government’s proposal to strengthen the drink driving law. The negative effect of alcohol use on road safety is undisputed. Driving under the influence of alcohol is responsible for approximately a quarter of all road fatalities in the European Union. Some voices in the public debate in Ireland have questioned the impact of drinking one or two alcoholic drinks before driving.  The scientific evidence is unequivocal on this: any amount of alcohol has a negative impact on driving ability. Why do […]

5 October 2017 – SMART policies for tackling drink driving, Helsinki

5 October 2017 – SMART policies for tackling drink driving, Helsinki

European Commission Representation to Finland, Helsinki 5th of October 2017, 9:00 – 13:00 The Finnish Transport Safety Agency and Liikenneturva, together with ETSC, are holding an international conference on tackling drink-driving as part of the SMART (Sober Mobility Across Road Transport) project. Representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, national Police and medical environment will be attending and animate the debate. Download the agenda here. Presentations Drink Driving in the EU, Antonio Avenoso – ETSC Experiences of Alcogates in Sweden, Liza Jakobsson – Swedish […]

10 July 2017 – Regional Road Safety Conference on Alcohol Interlocks, Belgrade

Hotel Holiday Inn, Str. Španskih boraca 74, Belgrade 10th of July 2017, 9:00 – 16:00 The European Transport Safety Council together with the Road Traffic Safety Agency of the Republic of Serbia organised a Safe and Sober national event in Belgrade on the 10th of July 2017. The event gathered representatives from the Ministry of Interior and the National Traffic Police, as well as the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia to discuss how to develop a systematic approach to reduce alcohol misuse in […]

4 July 2017 – Alcohol Interlocks: Towards a European Approach for the fight against drink driving, Edinburgh

4 July 2017 – Alcohol Interlocks: Towards a European Approach for the fight against drink driving, Edinburgh

Traffic Control Centre, 21 Ferrymuir Gait South Queensferry, Edinburgh 4th of July 2017, 9:00 – 13:00 The European Transport Safety Council, together with the Road Safety Scotland and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) have the pleasure of inviting you to a round-table event  to raise awareness amongst policy makers, the private sector and key opinion leaders on how to develop a systematic approach to reduce alcohol misuse in road transport. Measures to tackle drink driving such as the use of […]

Award-winning Switzerland u-turns on alcohol interlocks

Award-winning Switzerland u-turns on alcohol interlocks

Switzerland has announced plans to cancel implementation of an alcohol interlock programme for convicted drink drivers one week after receiving ETSC’s PIN Award for long-term efforts to reduce road safety. In a report published on 28 June, the Swiss government published a report showing its Via Secura programme had been successful in cutting collisions. At the same the government announced that it was cancelling plans to introduce an alcohol interlock programme for drink driving offenders in 2019 citing cost concerns. The announcement came just […]

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Three French départements are trialling wider use of alcohol interlocks in the fight against drink driving offences. Drivers who have had their license suspended for a drink driving offence will be able to get back behind the wheel if they agree to install an alcohol interlock at their own expense and to accept medical and psychological check-ups. The programme, which requires authorisation of a doctor and the local administrator responsible for driving licenses, should lead to more drivers using the devices. Judges in criminal […]

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

The legal drink drive limit should be lowered in England and Wales to help cut alcohol-related collisions according to an association of English local councils and fire and rescue authorities. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils and all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, is calling on the Government to drop the current Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) from 0.8 to 0.5g/l. England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in the world and the […]

Irish drink driving law delayed after pressure from pub owners

Irish drink driving law delayed after pressure from pub owners

The Irish transport minister Shane Ross has criticised pub owners for pressure which has led to delays in the passing of a new drink driving law in the Irish parliament. The new proposals, announced earlier this year, would see drivers caught with a blood alcohol level between the legal limit of 0.5g/l and 0.8g/l receiving an automatic three month ban. Under current laws such drivers receive only penalty points and a fine, with bans only automatically issued for drivers found with higher BAC levels.  […]

Spain looking to apply zero tolerance alcohol limits for novice and professional drivers

Spain looking to apply zero tolerance alcohol limits for novice and professional drivers

The Spanish Director General of Traffic has announced new measures targeted at reducing drink driving. The plans, announced following a meeting of the government’s road safety committee in May, include cutting the drink drive limit for professional and novice drivers to zero and suspending the driving licenses of anyone caught drink driving twice in two years. Traffic victims groups said the measures do not go far enough, and that drivers ‘don’t care’ if they lose their driving license. They recommend confiscating vehicles from repeat […]

83% of drink drivers are men

83% of drink drivers are men

New figures from Belgium confirm that drink driving remains an overwhelmingly male problem representing 83% of those caught drink driving. The data, revealed by interior minister Jan Jambon in March, showed men made up an even higher proportion of drug drivers (94%). Data from across Europe has shown that men in general are more prone to risky behaviour on the roads.   But exposure also plays a role, as men are more likely to drive and drive more than women, on average. Research by ETSC […]

Safety groups back tougher UK penalties for causing a road death

Safety groups back tougher UK penalties for causing a road death

More than 9,000 people responded to a recent UK Ministry of Justice consultation on proposals to increase prison sentences for people that cause death by dangerous driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The government said the response was one of the largest of any recent consultation and included responses from victims’ groups, bereaved families, road safety organisations and charities. The proposals include an increase in the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving or driving under the influence of […]

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