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Half of Swedes 'unsure' if they have driven drunk

Rebecca Martin · 29 Nov 2011, 10:36

Published: 29 Nov 2011 10:36 GMT+01:00

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Police officer Bengt Svensson, responsible for traffic at the National Swedish Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) told newspaper Metro that he'd heard most of the excuses.

”There are quite a few who say that they had no idea that there were traces of alcohol left in their bloodstream. You've heard most of the explanations like 'tt was ages since I had a drink',” Bengtsson said.

The survey showed that 46 percent of Swedes answered that they were always/often or sometimes unsure whether they had drunk too much before they got in the car.

Among men, the number was 49 percent, while 42 percent of the women said they were uncertain about whether they were over the limit.

Younger drivers were also more uncertain than more mature drivers.

The limit for drink driving in Sweden is a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.2 promille alcohol, and driving while above that limit can lead to a hefty fine or a prison sentence of up to six months.

If someone gets hurt due to the inebriated driver's conduct, the maximum penalty is four years in prison, if the offence is viewed as aggravated.

As the holiday season approaches, many Swedes might find themselves in a quandary as to whether they should drive to functions or leave the car at home.

The advice from both the police and the Motorists' Society Sobriety Association (Motorförarnas Helnykterhetsförbund, MHF) is to never get in the car if you are the least bit uncertain, the newspaper reported.

Story continues below…

Bengtsson also advised against trying to work out how long it takes to sober up completely from different amounts of alcohol.

”No, because you can't calculate that. There are such huge differences dependent on if you are a man or a woman, physically fit or less so, if you've eaten or done something else,” he told the paper.

Some 1000 Swedes took part in the survey carried out by insurance company SalusAnsvar.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:20 November 29, 2011 by mamegoma
More like half of Swedes are unsure about anything?
21:27 November 29, 2011 by wxman
Here's a clue: If you are unsure, then you were.
10:49 November 30, 2011 by Puffin
I If you drive after drinking anything then you are at risk - It's hard to be sure in Sweden unless you don't drink and abstain from all products that contain alcohol

Many people don't realise how much lower Sweden's limits are compared to the rest of Europe - a quarter of the UK limit and less than half of the rate in most of Europe:

UK - 0.08%

Most of Europe - 0.05%

Sweden - 0.02%
17:02 November 30, 2011 by Abe L
It could all be so easily fixed. After a person gets caught drunk driving, remove their privilege to drive for the rest of their lives. This is not a mistake you can make and if you do, you get to suffer the consequences. While such enforcement is not out there, this problem will never go away.
13:26 December 8, 2011 by BritVik
And the other half know they have.
14:25 December 8, 2011 by Mpf
Half of Swede unsure if they have driven drunk - as they were too pissed to remember.
23:53 December 11, 2011 by Grass
@Abe L,

Then you will have half the population driving without a license.

GET REAL, there are penalties for Drink Driving which do deter people.

If you would like to review your statement to a "three strike" policy, perhaps it could be accepted, but we are all human, we all make mistakes... and lets give you an breath test next time you have been toking the coffee medicine....

Or perhaps - God forbid - Sweden gets with the program and actually agrees on a sensible blood /alcohol limit... 0.05 is acceptable everywhere else in the world...

Or lets take the next step and actually get some uniformity in the laws.

On one hand it is unacceptable to drive with a Blood/alcohol level of more than 0.02, but it is perfectly LEGAL and acceptable to drive, holding a mobile phone to your ear - Which has been conclusively proved by numerous studies that that is actually WORSE than driving with a Blood/Alcohol level of 0.08.

Now that is STUPIDITY at it's best....
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