Sweden contemplates alcohol locks for drunk drivers

A new form of punishment for drunk drivers under consideration in Sweden would allow some offenders to keep their driver’s licences provided they installed an alcohol lock on their vehicles.

Sweden contemplates alcohol locks for drunk drivers

A report issued on Thursday by a government commission studying the use of alcohol locks did not propose implementing a general requirement that all new cars be outfitted with an alcohol lock.

The device prevents someone from starting a vehicle if it detects traces of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

The commission explained that a general requirement for alcohol locks could be considered to impede competition, and would thus require approval by European Union authorities in Brussels.

According to the commission’s findings however, a person who has been convicted of drunk driving could then be required to drive using an alcohol lock for one or two years, depending on the severity of the offence.

Other mitigating factors relating to the drunken driving transgression, as well as any diagnoses of alcohol dependence or abuse would also affect the required length of time for using the lock.

In order to once again drive a car without the alcohol lock, the offender would have to avoid receiving any traffic citations during the probationary period and pass a test.

People who have their licences revoked after having driven while intoxicated must then request permission to instead drive with an alcohol lock.

The application, which would need to be accompanied by a doctor’s certificate, would be approved if the personal and medical conditions are accepted.

The government is expected to put forward a formal legislative proposal regarding alcohol locks sometime next year.