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European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) report: Progress in reducing drink driving in Europe

25,670 people were killed in the European Union as a consequence of road collisions in 2016. Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the four main killers on the road, alongside speeding, non-use of seatbelts and driver distraction.

Impairment through alcohol is an important factor influencing both the risk of a road collision as well as the severity of the injuries that result from collisions.

It is estimated that 1.5 - 2% of kilometers travelled in the EU are driven with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration, but around 25% of all road deaths in the EU are alcohol related.

Consequently, ETSC estimates that at least 5120 deaths could have been prevented in 2016 if all drivers had been sober.

In Europe, the number of road deaths attributed to alcohol has decreased at a similar rate to road deaths from other causes over the past decade. Changing public attitudes towards drink driving, the adoption of legal measures and enhanced enforcement have played an important role in the decrease of road deaths attributed to alcohol. However, the trends differ from country to country and drink driving remains a significant problem for road safety in the EU.

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 throughout this report.

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