Spain heads toward zero tolerance drink driving policy

LAST UPDATED: 25 Aug, 2012 @ 08:06
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Spain heads toward zero tolerance drink driving policy

SPAIN’S DGT traffic authority is considering reducing the alcohol limit on roads to zero, making just one drop of alcohol too much to drive.

The DGT reasons that any amount of alcohol has an adverse effect on a driver’s cognitive abilities.

Currently, the alcohol limit for experienced drivers is 0.5 grams per litre of blood, or 0.25 grams per litre of breathed air, and 0.3 or 0.15 grams, respectively, for drivers with less than two years experience.

According to a study by Noc-turns 2011, 38% of young people have admitted drinking and driving, though that number is half what it was in the last decade.

16 COMMENTS

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  1. Ah yes, and it has to be just a fund raising exercise as these would be the lowest rates in Europe. Brandy butter’s out then and liqueur choccies. In some countries, France perhaps the driving is better when alcohol, a modicum, induced. I don’t drink much 1/2 lager now and then but it’ll be diet coke then. Perhaps CocaCola inspired the plan

  2. Franco could not have ruined Spain as much as this government, next there will be a tax for sunbathing or at least a VAT increase of at least 13%. Im so glad im not Spanish. Most of the Spanish are fine upstanding people but the people that represent them are old time scammers and THICK..

  3. Ian – “Franco could not have ruined Spain as much as this government, next there will be a tax for sunbathing or at least a VAT increase of at least 13%.”

    You must really enjoy drinking. You would think that the hundreds of thousands of people executed or disappeared in the Franco regime might be just – slightly – worse than having to pay a fine if you get caught driving impaired by alcohol.

    By the way, a fine for breaking a law is not the same as a tax. You can be thankful you aren’t Spanish though – just be especially thankful you aren’t American, where there are mandatory multiple-year prison sentences for drunk driving in many cases (even when no accident or injury is caused).

  4. Reality does not work in your brain then REALITY.. So from now on I cant use mouthwash after brushing my teeth,I cant have a masala sauce with my meat when going to a restaurant plus best not have a vanilla based dessert after as all these contain alchol. 0% is just crazy there are so many things that contain alchol so even tee teetotallers can fall breath tests. Thats Reality.

  5. To be fair Jenny neither ian or I are suggesting there is no link to alcohol related accidents. Comments are purely related to the suggested low limits – lower than other countries. I haven’t seen the relative figures but if you take into account the sheer madness of the local drivers on any of the faster roads you’re never going to eradicate life threatening accidents in Spain. This deal smacks of fund raising.

  6. I actually don’t disagree with Ian or John as far as the absurdity of penalizing people for a small level of alcohol in the blood. Actually mouthwash can even trigger false positives on breath tests above the legal limit as is.

    The problem is slipping in references to Franco and asserting that a bad alcohol/driving law is worse than the Franco regime. Hyperbole is an understatement here.

    Behind the new measures is either fund raising or the natural growth of already well-funded, anti-alcohol groups. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a lobbying group in the United States that has been instrumental in getting drunk drivers multi-year prison sentences for first or second offenses, even where there has been no accident or injury.

    God help the poor alcoholics spending decades in jail for drinking and driving. Since alcoholism is an actual disease you would think the appropriate response is treatment, not fines or prison.

    In fact, I would probably go further than most people and remove drunk driving laws completely. The chances of being injured or killed by a drunk driver are actually less than being injured in a road accident by a sober person – or by an accident in your home. And there is a lot of research that indicates other factors, such as lack of sleep, or talking on a cellular phone, impede driving equally to being impaired by alcohol. Yet, none of those things are prohibited or penalized to the same degree as driving under the influence of alcohol.

    So while driving drunk is definitely dangerous and does increase the probability of an accident there is a clear bias against alcohol as a factor that impairs driving versus other factors that equally impair driving. And if we prohibited or penalized all actions (or inactions) that impair driving everyone would be guilty.

    It all comes down to risk versus liberty. Increasingly people are willing to trade away liberty for perceived safety. As for myself, liberty reigns supreme. Unless an action sufficiently impacts the liberty of the entire population there is no reason to preemptively take away said action. Which is exactly what drunk driving laws do.

    By the way – I don’t drink. But I would be just as comfortable driving on roads that have no alcohol-related laws as I feel now.

  7. Enough to drive you to drugs
    Ah yes the English language she is so funny
    Sorry stefanjo this was a play on words or a ‘pun’ where two definitions of a word can make the statement ambiguous
    ‘drive’ in English can mean many things. Drive a car. In this case it could also be drive as in compel, drive towards. Drive a hard bargain. Drive a golf ball. Hard drive. Plus many more I think.
    I thought it was quite clever, maybe childish too, but that’s moi I guess

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