A recent report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) looking at progress towards reducing alcohol related road deaths published is calling for EU member states to introduce a zero tolerance level for all road users.
Although it is not possible to be accurate due to differences in the way figures are collected, it has been estimated that a quarter of all road deaths in Europe are alcohol related (or around 6,300 alcohol related out of 25,510 road deaths in the EU in 2018).
The report does note that in the 23 EU countries for which figures are available, alcohol related road deaths have fallen by around 25% between 2010 and 2018.
The ETSC is based in Brussels and is an independent organisation providing expert advice on transport safety matters to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and Member States.
Currently the limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood in Scotland for all drivers. Various limits apply around the EU and some states specify lower limits for professional drivers.
In this context a zero tolerance drink drive limit would mean a maximum blood alcohol level of 20 milligrammes per 100 millilitres.
The ETSC report is also calling for the use of alcohol interlocks to be made mandatory for professional drivers and repeat offenders. This report can be downloaded from the ETSC website at: https://etsc.eu/progress-in-reducing-drink-driving-in-europe-2019/
Whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU, it is important to be aware of the different regulations that apply if you have employees who drive for work, especially if they will be travelling into a region where different rules apply.
All UK employers have general duties to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees, if you were to knowingly allow an employee who was under the influence to continue working and this placed the employee or others at risk, you could be prosecuted. Similarly, your employees are also required to take reasonable care of themselves and others who could be affected by what they do.
Our specialists can help you to develop and implement suitable alcohol and drug misuse policies for your workplace. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using email@example.com if you have any questions.