Drink-driving

Swiss cancellation of alcohol interlock programme will make road safety targets harder to reach

Swiss cancellation of alcohol interlock programme will make road safety targets harder to reach

The Swiss parliament has voted to cancel the planned introduction of alcohol interlocks for drink-driving offenders in Switzerland in a move described by Swiss road safety experts as ‘incomprehensible’. The alcohol interlock programme, part of Switzerland’s Via sicura road safety plan (which had previously received parliamentary support) – would have allowed people whose driving license had been withdrawn because of repeated drink-driving to be able to get back behind the wheel. The measure, the most effective available for tackling repeat drink-driving offences, now faces […]

20 February 2018 – Reducing Drink Driving in Europe, European Parliament, Brussels

Lunch debate, Members’ Salon, European Parliament, 20 February 2018, 12:30 – 14:30 This event was kindly hosted by Dieter-Lebrecht Koch MEP. Up to a quarter of the 26,000 deaths on European roads each year are estimated to be alcohol-related. Improved enforcement, lower blood alcohol limits, alcohol interlocks, awareness campaigns and rehabilitation programmes are some of the measures in place across Europe to tackle the scourge. But for the European Union to meet its road safety targets, more will need to be done in the near […]

Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU

Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU

New report shows more than 5000 deaths a year in EU still caused by drink-driving Member States asked to increase enforcement and introduce rehabilitation programmes for drink-driving offenders The EU should require alcohol interlocks to be fitted in all new professional vehicles and retrofitted to cars used by repeat drink-driving offenders. These are two of the main recommendations from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report looking at how to reduce the 5000 deaths still caused by drink-driving in the […]

Progress in Reducing Drink Driving in Europe

Progress in Reducing Drink Driving in Europe

This report aims to provide an updated overview of the drink driving situation in Europe, covering 32 countries: the 28 member states of the European Union together with Israel, Norway, the Republic of Serbia and Switzerland. It looks at country progress in reducing road deaths attributed to drink driving over the past decade. The report highlights specific legislation and enforcement measures from across Europe. A range of recommendations concerning further improvements in tackling drink driving are made to Member States and the EU institutions […]

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Two lane roads with no separating guard rail in France will have their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h and alcohol interlocks will be required for recidivist drink driving offenders as part of the French government’s latest road safety crack-down. The measures, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, also include the possibility of suspending the license of a driver using a mobile phone at the wheel. The 80km/h limit has led to a backlash from motoring groups and on […]

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 […]

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