Why governments need to step-up drink-driving enforcement

“The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is calling on European governments to increase the number of drink-driving enforcement checks, and simplify procedures for carrying them out, as new figures showed the percentage of drivers who are over the limit has returned to pre-pandemic levels in many European countries.

At least 4000 deaths could be prevented in the European Union annually if drink-driving was eliminated. 

ETSC says widespread, highly visible, and well-publicised enforcement, and the perception of being checked, are critical to effectively reducing alcohol-related collisions on the road.  

But data analysed by ETSC show the number of checks declined significantly in many countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.  And while some are now increasing the number of checks again, this is not happening fast enough.  The percentage of drivers found to be over the limit has bounced back to the pre-pandemic level in many countries.

Over the last decade, the number of drink-driving checks per capita fell in ten countries and increased in just six.  Worryingly, fourteen countries tracked by ETSC do not even collect national data on the number of alcohol checks that are carried out including Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Slovakia and Serbia.”

Read further from the European Transport Safety Council (Europe, 2023)

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