ETSC Drink Driving Monitor (21) - June 2014
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Drink Driving Monitor
Policy update from ETSC

New EU studies back future role for alcohol interlocks

Two new reports are supportive of further measures to boost the use of alcohol interlocks in passenger and goods vehicles in the EU but stop short of recommending measures that would mandate mass adoption in the short term due mainly to cost concerns. ETSC says this approach is short-sighted because mandatory use for some categories of drivers and vehicles would drive innovation, bring down costs and save many more lives. 

MEPs vote for alcohol curbs on minors

The European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted in March in favour of an EU proposal to reduce alcohol consumption by minors. In the resolution, the Parliament called on the European Commission to present a plan, with concrete measures by September. Efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of binge drinking for minors, in order to reduce traffic accidents related to alcohol consumption, should be increased, with reinforcement of the information and data collection on alcohol abuse and related societal consequences, MEPs said. See article.

Cars of drink drivers to be confiscated under new Danish rules

Drink drivers in Denmark could face having their cars confiscated under new rules coming into force on 1 July. A driver caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 2.0 could have his vehicle immediately confiscated by the police, even for a first offence. Drivers registering a BAC of 1.2 will also see their vehicle seized if they have been caught behind the wheel with a BAC level above the maximum 0.5 in the last three years. The Danish Road Safety Council, an ETSC member, supports the new law, but says it should be matched with preventative treatment programmes such as in neighbouring Sweden. See article (in Danish).

News in brief

Baltic states co-operate on joint enforcement initiative

Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Finnish police organised a joint operation to catch drink drivers and other traffic offenders last month at Tallinn and Helsinki harbours, and at the Via Baltica border crossing points into Poland. According to the European traffic police network TISPOL, altogether 13 drink drivers were caught and 45 other offences were recorded, out of which the majority were for speeding. This year drink drivers have caused the deaths of six people, and 70 others have been injured in Estonia. Last year drink drivers caused 12% of all traffic accidents. See TISPOL website.


Lasers could aid enforcement of drink driving

Polish researchers have developed a laser that can be fired at cars to find out if their drivers are drunk. The device, detailed in a study published by scientists at Warsaw's Military University of Technology, can detect alcohol vapour inside moving vehicles. The results showed that the presence of alcohol vapours was detected at concentrations of 0.1g/l and above. However, the accuracy can be impacted by a range of factors including drunk passengers in the car, open windows, or air conditioning but the researchers say that the technology could make existing enforcement measures more efficient by reducing the number of cars that need to be stopped. See research.

Summer drinkers shown the consequences of getting behind the wheel

In a new clip to launch its Summer 'Bob' campaign, ETSC's member, the Belgian Road Safety Institute staged a dramatic incident in downtown Antwerp where an apparently drunk man got into a car and then ran down a cyclist - to the horror of onlookers. The video circulated on social media before being revealed as a fake designed to raise awareness of drink driving. Watch on YouTube
ETSC Alcohol Interlock Barometer

Alcohol Interlock Barometer

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