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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.

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers have formally called on the European Commission to launch a comprehensive EU strategy dedicated to the reduction of alcohol-related harm by the end of 2016, following a similar request from the European Parliament in April. The last EU-wide alcohol programme officially ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Ministers said the strategy should tackle the health, social and economic consequences of the harmful use of alcohol and focus on initiatives with a cross-border dimension. The Council also called upon member […]

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) intends to start “naming and shaming” disqualified motorists on its website from early next year, after consultation with the national Data Protection Commissioner indicated there is “no obstacle” to doing so. Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said the plans for printing the names of disqualified drivers would act as a deterrent. “We want to see a societal change, a cultural change in people’s attitudes,” she said. The Irish parliament’s joint committee on transport and communications was […]

Poland seventh EU country to require interlocks for convicted drink drivers

Poland seventh EU country to require interlocks for convicted drink drivers

Poland is the latest European country to require convicted drink driving offenders to install an alcohol interlock if they wish to get back behind the wheel. The country joins Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands and Sweden, all of which now have rehabilitation programmes with interlocks backed by the courts. Poland’s new measures came into force on 18 May. Austria, Norway and Switzerland are in the process of preparing similar legislation, and Germany announced a trial programme in February, but no further details have […]

Pressure to cut BAC limits in England and Wales as France toughens limit for young drivers

Pressure to cut BAC limits in England and Wales as France toughens limit for young drivers

England and Wales are under pressure to match Scotland’s successful move last year from a 0.8g/l general blood alcohol limit for drivers to 0.5. Meanwhile the French government will officially lower the limit for novice drivers from 0.5 to 0.2 from 1 July. Victoria Martin, a senior police inspector at the Police Federation of England and Wales, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “We would like to see a lower drink-drive limit, as most other European countries have, as well as Scotland, which saw a […]

European Parliament calls for new EU alcohol strategy

European Parliament calls for new EU alcohol strategy

Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution in April calling on the European Commission to come forward with a comprehensive new long term strategy to tackle the impacts of alcohol on health. The last EU-wide programme ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Amongst the new measures listed in the resolution, MEPs called for support for member states on collecting reliable data and running communication campaigns on drink driving as well as asking the European Commission to consider EU-wide labelling alerting consumers […]

Alcohol interlock programme ‘effective’ in Michigan

Alcohol interlock programme ‘effective’ in Michigan

The first four years of an alcohol-interlock linked rehabilitation programme for drink driving offenders in the US state of Michigan has been a ‘significant success’, according to a new study. The report showed that interlock programme participants have the lowest recidivism rates for operating under the influence of alcohol one, two and three years after the initial conviction for a repeat drink driving charge in comparison to the offenders who didn’t have to fit an interlock. The research also found that 97% complied with […]

US study shows economic benefits of cutting drink driving deaths

US study shows economic benefits of cutting drink driving deaths

A new analysis published in the medical journal Injury Prevention shows the very significant benefits of preventing drink driving collisions on a national economy. Using an economic model developed by Rutgers University, the authors found that reductions in alcohol-involved crashes since the middle of the 1980s increased economic output in 2010 by an estimated $20 billion, raised GDP by $10 billion, increased US income by $6.5 billion, and created 215 000 jobs. The study also says that every mile driven by an alcohol-impaired driver in […]

Report warns on alcohol brand exposure at Formula 1 races

Report warns on alcohol brand exposure at Formula 1 races

A study by Britain’s Institute of Alcohol Studies and Australia’s Monash University for the European Alcohol Policy Alliance network Eurocare says viewers of the 2014 Monaco Formula One race were exposed to alcohol brand images 11 times every minute. The authors conclude that F1 racing has the highest level of alcohol brand exposure of any sports event reported in peer reviewed literature. They argue that such exposure, during the world’s most prominent motor racing event, contradicts the spirit of the current EU regulations on […]

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