Drink Driving: Young Drivers and Recidivist Offenders

  • April 14, 2008

This ETSC policy paper on “Drink Driving: Young Drivers and Recidivist Offenders” gives an overview of why drink driving is a major problem in European road safety. In particular it shows what can be done to prevent two high risk groups – young novice drivers and recidivist offenders – from impaired driving. The paper illustrates how alcohol is affecting driving skills and what the effects on the crash risk are. Moreover, it shows European countries’ progress in reducing drink driving by explaining some current trends in reducing alcohol-related road deaths in several countries. Focusing on young novice drivers, the paper points out why this group is particularly at risk when driving intoxicated. They pose a greater risk to themselves, their passengers and to other road users compared to other drivers. It is illustrated which drink driving countermeasures could be introduced in an attempt to reduce drinking and driving of young or inexperienced drivers. Focusing on recidivist offenders, it is shown why this group – although representing only a small proportion of all drivers – contributes disproportionately to road accidents. Measures that can be taken to prevent this high risk group from driving under the influence of alcohol are explained.