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.
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.