Drink-driving

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

New data from France confirms the large overlap between drink and drug driving in fatal collisions. Among the 439 drivers that tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal collision in 2017, half (224) also had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level above the legal limit in France of 0,5 g/l. The proportion is similar for non-fatal collisions. The figures were published in the latest road safety annual report from France’s national road safety observatory. The injury risk of drugs combined with […]

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, says drivers are still underestimating the risks of drink-driving.  According to an opinion survey carried out for DVR by Ipsos in December, one in four respondents would drink one or two glasses of beer at a party within four hours and then drive home by car. DVR recommends a zero alcohol policy when driving.  “It’s best to stick to a clear rule,” said DVR Chief Executive Christian Kellner. “Those who drive, don’t drink; those who drink, […]

7 SMART Ways of tackling Drink-Driving in Europe

7 SMART Ways of tackling Drink-Driving in Europe

The report aims to present the wide-ranging approaches used to tackle drink driving in Europe, including legislation (BAC limits, rehabilitation programmes for drink driving offenders), enforcement, technology (alcohol interlocks) campaigns and education.   SMART receives financial support from The Brewers of Europe.

13 December 2018 – SMART policies for tackling drink driving, Bucharest

European Commission Representation, 31 Vasile Lascar St, Bucharest   Reprezentanța Comisiei Europene, Str. Vasile Lascăr nr. 31, București    13 December 2018, 9:00-13:00 13 Decembrie 2018, 9:00-13:00 In the framework of the SMART (Sober Mobility Across Road Transport) project, the Romanian Traffic Police and the European Transport Safety Council organised an international conference on tackling drink-driving on the 13th of December in Bucharest. În cadrul proiectului SMART (Sober Mobility Across Road Transport), Poliția Română – Direcția Rutieră și Consiliul European pentru Siguranța Transporturilor (ETSC) au […]

20 November 2018 – Safe and Sober Talk: Alcohol Interlocks and the Fight against Drink-Driving, The Hague

20 November 2018, 09:00-13:00 Pulchri Studio Lange Voorhout 15, 2514 EA, The Hague, The Netherlands The European Transport Safety Council held the Safe and Sober Talk “Alcohol Interlocks and the Fight against Drink Driving” in The Hague on 20 November 2018. Last year, 613 people lost their lives on Dutch roads and hardly any progress has been made in reducing the annual number of road deaths since 2010. In addition, between 2006 and 2016, more than 199 people in the Netherlands died in road […]

Malta cuts drink-driving limit for novice drivers by 75%

Malta cuts drink-driving limit for novice drivers by 75%

The United Kingdom is now the last EU Member State with a general blood alcohol limit of 0.8g/l, following a decision by Malta to switch to 0.5g/l. Scotland lowered its drink-driving limit to 0.5g/l, in line with most of Europe, in 2014. The rest of the UK remains at 0.8 despite estimates for PACTS, ETSC’s UK member, that a move to 0.5 could save 25 deaths and 95 serious injuries every year. The new Maltese traffic regulations also set a 0.2g/l limit for drivers of […]

Drink-driving deaths in the UK have not decreased since 2010

Drink-driving deaths in the UK have not decreased since 2010

New data on drink-driving collisions in the UK has been released by the Department for Transport. The figures for 2016, the latest year available, estimate deaths caused by drink driving at 230, a similar level to 2010. According to the research, the total number of collisions where at least one driver or rider was over the alcohol limit rose by 6% to 6,070 in 2016. In a 2017 report, ETSC’s UK member PACTS said that the UK government “does not appear to have a […]

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Parliamentarians in the Czech Republic are considering tougher penalties for drink-driving. The leader of the CSSD party in the Parliament, Jan Chvojka is understood to be considering changes to the law that could include a lifetime ban for drivers that cause death while driving under the influence as well as longer prison sentences. The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is from the ANO 2011 party in the coalition government with the CSSD, is reportedly supportive of the tougher penalties. The UK government said in […]

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

The Irish parliament has approved tougher new penalties for drivers caught over the legal BAC limit of 0.5g/l. Under the new rules, drivers with a BAC between 0.5g/l and 0.8g/l will face an automatic three-month driving ban. The previous penalty for that offence was three penalty points, but no ban. The change in the law has faced a tortuous legislative journey after a handful of parliamentarians attempted to delay its adoption. Meanwhile ETSC’s Irish member the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that more […]

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Stricter penalties for drink driving in Ireland are set to come into force after a new law was passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of […]

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Judges in Belgium will have to oblige high level or repeat drink-driving offenders to follow an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme after new legal changes come into force on 1 July 2018. Previously the alcohol interlock requirement was a little-used legal option, but it will now become mandatory in most cases. According to research by VIAS, ETSC’s Belgian member, recidivism is reduced by 75% for those that install an alcohol interlock and follow the accompanying rehabilitation programme. Under the existing rules, only 67 drivers have […]

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

All new vehicles sold in the EU will feature a standardised interface to enable the fitment of aftermarket alcohol interlock devices, according to new EU vehicle safety standards proposed last month. The proposed requirement, part of a package of new vehicle safety standards, should make it simpler and cheaper to fit an alcohol interlock when a driver is required to do so by law.  Several EU countries have rehabilitation programmes for recidivist drink drivers that require installation of an interlock before a driver is […]

21 June 2018 – SMART policies for tackling drink driving, Athens

21 June 2018 – SMART policies for tackling drink driving, Athens

21 June 2018, 9:00-13:00 Representation of the European Commission in Greece, 2 Vas. Sofias, Athens, 10674 The Road Safety Institute Panos Mylonas together with ETSC, organised an international conference on tackling drink-driving as part of the SMART (Sober Mobility Across Road Transport) project. The debate addressed policy and practice on enforcement, penalties, rehabilitation, alcohol interlocks and other measures to discourage and prevent drink driving. Representatives from the Greek ministries, traffic police, National Road Safety Council and universities presented the current state of drink driving […]

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Stricter limits on drink-driving are being blocked in the Irish parliament by a small group of MPs opposed to the changes. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of the Irish parliament when a small […]

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

The committee on sustainable mobility of the Spanish parliament has proposed legal changes to require the installation of alcohol interlocks in all passenger vehicles with more than nine seats. The legal proposal agreed in May is similar to one already passed in France.  It was an initiative of the PSOE party which took over the leadership of a minority government in June when Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party lost a vote of no-confidence. Earlier this year, Spanish media reported that police enforcement checks for drink-driving […]

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has been awarded a grant by the UK transport minister to run a competition to encourage the development of mobile evidential breath testing instruments for use by UK police. Up to £350,000 (EUR 400,000) will be available to encourage manufacturers in the sector to invest in devices which meet the UK standard. Currently, when a UK driver provides a positive alcohol screening test by the roadside, the police are required to take the driver back to […]

Lithuania plans to introduce an alcohol interlock programme

Lithuania plans to introduce an alcohol interlock programme

The Lithuanian ministry of transport has announced plans to introduce a national alcohol interlock programme to tackle repeat drink-driving offences. Under the proposed measure, drivers found guilty of drink driving will be able to choose a shorter driving ban if they agree to install an interlock in their vehicle. Lithuania has previously trialled alcohol interlocks for professional drivers in school buses. Check out ETSC’s map of alcohol interlock use in Europe and our guide for policymakers

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 […]

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