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Belgium strengthens alcohol interlock programme

Belgium strengthens alcohol interlock programme

The Belgian Minister of Mobility François Bellot is planning to strengthen drink driving laws to require judges to impose alcohol interlocks on recidivist and high level first time offenders and in cases of drunkenness. Belgium’s alcohol interlock programme began in September 2013, but judges have only imposed the requirement in 42 cases. By far the most common sanction since then was a temporary driving ban, imposed on 19,510 individuals. Mr Bellot is preparing legal changes that would require judges to impose alcohol interlocks to […]

English back lower drink drive limits

English back lower drink drive limits

There have been renewed calls for a lower drink drive limit in England after a survey found that more than three quarters of people would support such a move. Drink driving deaths in Great Britain have remained static since 2010 at 240 deaths a year, despite an overall reduction in fatalities. Scotland reduced its drink driving limit from 0.8 g/l to 0.5g/l two years ago. Northern Ireland is set to follow soon. David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS said: “The number of deaths involving […]

Dutch attempt to unblock alcohol interlock programme

Dutch attempt to unblock alcohol interlock programme

A six-party coalition in the Netherlands is asking the government to find a solution to reopen the Dutch alcohol interlock programme to new participants after legal challenges put the scheme on hold last year. The Dutch programme began in 2011, and had more than 5000 participants by 2014. But a legal challenge last year resulted in the suspension of the programme after the Supreme Court concluded that the costs of participation, borne by the participants, came in addition to fines – an effective double […]

Austria prepares legal basis for alcohol interlocks

Austria prepares legal basis for alcohol interlocks

The Austrian government is updating its driver licensing laws in preparation for the launch of its alcohol interlock programme next year. Austria is the eighth EU member state to introduce the measure. The programme, which will run initially for a five-year period, was announced last summer, following successful trials. The legal changes also include separate measures targeted at young and novice drivers.  The driving license probationary period will be extended to three years from the current two.  In addition, moped riders will only be […]

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

A new report has confirmed that alcohol interlock programmes are most effective at reducing recidivism when combined with rehabilitation programmes. The study, published in Alcoholism: clinical & experimental research, found that in the 12-48 months following the removal of an alcohol interlock, recidivism by those drivers who had also followed an alcohol use disorder programme was 32% lower than those that had only used the interlock device. The research was based on data from the U.S. state of Florida’s alcohol interlock programme.  The Florida […]

Lithuania moves towards zero tolerance on alcohol for all drivers

Lithuania moves towards zero tolerance on alcohol for all drivers

Lithuania is considering extending its zero BAC limit to all drivers. The proposal is one of the measures announced by the leader of the political party that won the general election in October. Commercial and novice drivers are already subject to a zero BAC limit. Other drivers are permitted a maximum level of 0.4 g/l. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are the only other European countries that apply a zero-tolerance policy across the board. No timetable has been given for when the […]

Young men targeted in Christmas drink drive campaigns

Young men targeted in Christmas drink drive campaigns

Official drink driving campaigns are increasingly using social media to reach target groups. The UK government’s Think! campaign is using events such as major football games and video game launches to point out to young males what they could miss out on if they have one extra pint.  The social media images use messages written on the side of beer glasses to get the message across. The campaign specifically targets young males, as figures show they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers […]

Austria to introduce alcohol interlock programme next year

Austria to introduce alcohol interlock programme next year

Transport Minister Jörg Leichtfried has announced that convicted drink drivers in Austria will be given the option of installing an alcohol interlock in their vehicles from next year, rather than face a driving ban. Every year about 26,000 people in Austria have their driver’s license revoked for drink driving, according to figures cited by the Austrian Press Agency. The government says the optional scheme will be particularly attractive to people who rely on their cars for their job, and expects demand for the interlock […]

Alcohol interlocks cut drink drive deaths by 15%

Alcohol interlocks cut drink drive deaths by 15%

A report published by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that US states that require alcohol interlocks for drink driving convictions are associated with 15% fewer alcohol-related crash deaths, compared with states with less stringent requirements. The team used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 1999 to 2013. From 2004 to 2013, 18 US states made interlocks mandatory for all drink-driving convictions. They compared alcohol-involved crash deaths between 18 states with and 32 states without universal alcohol interlock requirements, […]

US states strengthen alcohol interlock laws

US states strengthen alcohol interlock laws

The US state of Pennsylvania has mandated alcohol interlocks for first time drink driving offenders. Meanwhile Virginia has set new requirements for the devices to be fitted with cameras to ensure the driver is the one taking the breath test before starting the engine. Pennsylvania’s alcohol interlock law previously applied to repeat offenders – the changes mean that first time offenders can also face the requirement. The law is expected to come into force next year. The campaign group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) […]

40% of Irish road deaths related to drink driving

40% of Irish road deaths related to drink driving

A new report from ETSC’s Irish member, the Road Safety Authority (RSA), has revealed that between 2008 and 2012, alcohol was a contributory factor in 38% of all fatal collisions in Ireland. The report, analysed police forensic fatal collision investigation files in order to identify the main contributory factors in collisions. 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people. The forensic details of 867 fatal collisions were analysed to identify the cause of the collisions […]

Lithuania to trial alcohol interlocks on school busses

Lithuania to trial alcohol interlocks on school busses

Lithuania is to trial installation of alcohol interlocks on school busses. The trial, on 10 busses in one school district, will be rolled out to other regions if successful, according to the transport ministry. The move follows similar requirements introduced nationally in France and Finland. The Belgian government has also said it favours the devices for use in public transport.

60% of Spanish young people admit to riding in a car with a drink driver

60% of Spanish young people admit to riding in a car with a drink driver

A report by the Spanish Foundation for Help Against Drug Addiction (FAD) and the Mapfre Foundation has concluded that in the previous six months nearly 64% of people aged between 16 and 30 had travelled in a car driven by someone who had drunk “substantial” alcohol. 32% said the same with regard to travelling with drivers who had consumed marijuana. The study concludes that the highest risk group of youngsters is male with more than five years of driving experience. However, Maria Segui, head […]

Heineken’s F1 sponsorship criticised

Heineken’s F1 sponsorship criticised

The European Alcohol Policy Alliance has written to Jean Todt, president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile to call for an end to alcohol brand sponsorship in Formula 1 racing. Heineken recently launched a new five-year sponsorship agreement with F1, a deal which includes trackside billboards, social media and other promotional activities. Eurocare says alcohol brands are now dominating F1 sponsorship, “linking a popular motor sport to a significant cause of avoidable physical, mental and social harm and more specifically one of the major […]

Portugal’s penalty points system launches 1 June

Portugal’s penalty points system launches 1 June

Portugal’s long-awaited penalty points system for offences including speeding and drink driving will take effect from 1 June. The Carta de Condução por Pontos will see drivers issued with 12 points by default, with between two and six points taken away every time an offence is recorded. Drivers with only four points left will need to take additional road safety training, while those with two will have to retake the driving theory test.  Loss of all points will result in a two year driving ban, […]

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

All road collisions that result in death or serious injury will be treated by police as an indictable offence, and those convicted will be subject to much tougher sentencing after a new ‘road murder’ law was passed by the Italian Senate last month. The new law, which has taken several years to pass all the necessary legal hurdles, could mean 12 years in prison for drivers found guilty of killing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The first arrest under the new […]

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

The German Federal Statistics Office has published preliminary figures showing road deaths increased by 2.9% on German roads last year. Dr. Walter Eichendorf, president of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) – an ETSC member – said: “We need to move up a gear. As before, nine people are killed every day on our roads and around 1,000 are injured. The development shows that steadily decreasing number of accidents are not automatic, but continuous and major efforts are needed.” DVR says the speed limit […]

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

A new report for the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the RAC Foundation has found that deaths and serious injuries on English and Welsh roads would be prevented if  drink drive limits were reduced following Scotland’s reduction from 0.8 g/l to 0.5 last year. The research by Professor Richard Allsop, a board member of ETSC, presents a ‘cautious’ estimate that a similar move in England and Wales would lead to 25 fewer deaths and 95 serious injuries. In Northern Ireland, […]

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

The Belgian government is to follow France with the introduction of a 0.2 g/l blood alcohol limit for young and novice drivers as well requiring alcohol interlocks for vehicles used in public transport. France’s lower BAC limit came into force in July and the country’s alcohol interlock requirements were extended to all coaches from September. Previously they were only required on coaches carrying school children.  Urban buses are excluded from the measure. The new Belgian measures are part of a 15-point road safety plan […]

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

The Estonian ministry of justice presented new proposals in October aimed at reducing repeat drink driving offences. The measures, including tougher penalties, also include provisions for banned drivers to follow rehabilitation programmes and install alcohol interlocks. The government is also considering extending responsibility for drink driving offences to passengers in the car, if proven that they knew the driver was over the limit.

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