Drunk driving is considered to be one of the major causes of road crashes and driver fatalities.
Some countries still have no legislation regulating alcohol limits and in those that have, these levels are not uniform. Alcohol diminishes such vital driving skills as tracking performance, reaction times, visual detection and information processing.
About 25% of all road fatalities in Europe are alcohol related. The legal limit in 4 EU countries (Ireland, UK, Malta and Luxembourg) is 0.8 g/l. In most EU countries it is 0.5 g/l. In Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia it is prohibited to have alcohol in blood at all.
Although a pocketsize breath testing devices have been used by the police since the 1970s and drunk driving is strongly condemned in all member states, drunk driving is still responsible for a large proportion of car crashes.
A number of new measures should be introduced:
- To have random breath tests for all drivers and not only for 'suspected' drivers
- To have alcohol ignition interlocks installed in the cars of all recidivists in combination with a driver improvement course
- To have better public campaigns and education programmes (for all age groups) based on scientific research
- To reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages, especially for young novice drivers. This can be done by raising the age limit for buying alcohol and by banning the sales of alcoholic beverages in petrol stations and transport cafes.
For more information please visit the European Commission’s webpage.