New film shows alcohol interlocks can save lives and change the lives of those that use them

  • January 11, 2023

The value of alcohol interlocks for preventing drink-driving is highlighted in a new short film launched today by the European Transport Safety Council.

Around a quarter of road deaths in Europe involve drink-driving. 

An alcohol interlock device requires the driver to take a breath test before starting their vehicle.  The vehicle cannot be started in the event of a positive test.  As of July 2022, all new types of vehicles launched in the EU need to have the capability for an alcohol interlock to be installed.

Convicted drink-drivers can opt for an alcohol interlock instead of a driving ban in several European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.

In the short film launching today, two participants in Belgium’s alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme speak about how using an alcohol interlock has changed their relationship with alcohol, and helped them stop drink-driving.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council, commented:

“Alcohol interlocks can help us end the tragedy of road deaths involving drink-driving.  But this film gives a rare glimpse of how people who use these devices can keep control of their lives, stay in work and maintain family relationships.  When combined with psychological counselling, monitoring and feedback, as they are in Belgium, alcohol interlocks save lives, but also change the lives of those that use them.”

ETSC is calling for alcohol interlocks to be fitted as standard in professional vehicles in the EU, and for more countries to introduce alcohol interlock rehabilitation programmes for drink-driving offenders.

Notes to editors