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Drink driving legislation
The aim of drink-driving legislation is to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities that result from driving while being intoxicated.
In many cases, this harm minimization approach also covers legislation for boating and civil aviation, and even bicycling in some countries. Earlier general laws against driving while intoxicated or impaired have now been supplemented in most countries with much more effective laws forbidding driving while above a specified blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
There is evidence to support the conclusion that a fairly low BAC limit, visible and frequent enforcement, suspension of driving licence in case of an offence and certainty of punishment together form a successful drink driving legislation (Babor et al., 2003).
A comprehensive approach is most likely to produce positive results in the long term reduction of both the number of cases of drink driving and alcohol-related traffic accidents.
Overall, drink driving legislation is quite widespread, with almost all countries having a defined, legal BAC limit for driving a car, although in more than 25% of the countries that limit is fairly high, above 0.6 per mille. However, when it comes to RBT, 45% of countries either do not perform it at all or perform it rarely.
The results of the study found that countries with a higher legal BAC perform RBT checks less frequently. In the effective enforcement of any drink driving legislation, frequent and random breath testing should ideally play a vital part.