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Sweden tests 'alcogates' for drunk car drivers

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The automatic sobriety controls being tested on trucks. Photo: MHF
16:58 CEST+02:00
Police are introducing electronic road barriers that automatically test if drivers are over the legal alcohol limit.
The portable road blocks have been developed by the National Swedish Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) and the Motorists' Society Sobriety Association (Motorförarnas Helnykterhetsförbund, MHF).
 
Similar to toll booths on a highway, they force drivers to blow into a breathalyzer when they arrive at a gate.
 
The alcogates, or alcoholic check barriers as they are also known, have already been tested on truck drivers in Gothenburg. They will be introduced for car drivers at Stockholm's Frihamnen harbour next Wednesday.
 
The breathalyzer process takes around 1.5 seconds to complete. If a driver blows above the limit, the gates remain closed and police nearby will carry out more thorough investigations. 
 
A spokesperson at MHF, Helena Gottberg, suggested that the booths could be set up around Sweden if next week's testing goes well.
 
"Ultimately we want to see a political decision to roll them out across the country, in a move that would decrease the number of drunk drivers on the roads in Sweden," she told The Local.
 

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Bengt Svensson of the national police told Sveriges Television (SVT) that the move would also decrease the number of police officers needed at police controls.
 
Police in Sweden have also been working on a quicker system to tackle drugged drivers. Current testing times remain at around 6 minutes, which officers consider to be too long to hold a driver who may be innocent. 
 

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