cares alcohol-and-health eurocare-input-to-consultation-on-road-safety-easy-installation-of-alcohol-interlocks-in-vehicles
The European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) welcomes the opportunity to comment on how alcohol interlocks can improve traffic safety by preventing drivers from driving with alcohol concentrations above certain limits. Unfortunately, these devices are not mandatory in the EU but can be retrofitted to vehicles after they are first sold. It should be made easy to do this, vehicle manufacturers should be required to provide either a standardised connector or a clear document giving the necessary guidance on how to install them.
Traffic accidents related to alcohol consumption are a major cause for concern in the EU. In 2018 25.150 people were killed on the roads in EU and 25% of all road deaths are alcohol related. At least 5.000 deaths would have been prevented if all drivers had been sober. The fatality risk increases exponentially with the blood alcohol content (BAC) level of the driver. The risk for drivers with low BAC levels (0.1 to 0.5g/L) is 1 to 3 times the risk of sober drivers. For drivers with a BAC level of 0.5 to 0.8 g/L it is already up to 20 times higher, increasing to 5-30 times for drivers with BAC levels of 0.8 to 1.2g/L. For high BAC offenders the risk is 20-200 times higher that of sober drivers.
Eurocare supports European Transport Safety Council call for the European Union should introduce a zero-tolerance drink-driving limit as part of a package of measures to help prevent up to 5,000 alcohol-linked road deaths every year.
The EU has recently set a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the road by half by 2030. A quarter of the 25,000 EU road deaths each year are likely to be linked to alcohol, according to European Commission estimates. Therefore, more progress on tackling drink driving is essential to reaching the overall target.
Currently only seven out of 28 EU countries have a standard Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of 0.2 g/l or below. 0.1 and 0.2 are effectively equivalent to zero tolerance, while still allowing for consumption of certain medicines, or drinks marketed as alcohol free. 19 have a limit of 0.5, while Lithuania has 0.4. Many countries also set lower limits for professional and/or novice drivers. (2)
EUROCARE POSITION - – Zero tolerance to alcohol-linked
traffic accidents in the EU.
· Alcohol interlocks can improve traffic safety by preventing drivers from driving with alcohol concentrations above certain limits. They should be mandatory in all cars.
· As a minimum vehicle manufacturer should be required to provide it so it is easy to be retrofitted to vehicles after they are first sold.
· Mandate the use of alcohol interlocks for professional drivers.
· A zero-tolerance level (i.e. a maximum BAC of 0,2g/l) for all road users.
· Intensity enforcement. Couple enforcement with publicity activities.
· Improve data collection of alcohol-related road deaths. Mandate systematic testing of all road users involved in a collision with injury.
· Run regular campaigns.