Public support for measures
Public support for tough measures is not so much of a problem. In the SARTRE3-questionnaire (2002) some of the questions were on alcohol legislation. An overwhelming majority of the 24,000 interviewed drivers (88%) would like to have more severe penalties for drink drivers in their country. The differences on this subject between the EU-member states were small.
Of all the drivers, 45% of those who filled in the SARTRE-questionnaire are of the opinion that there should be a BAC-limit of 0 g/l. In Eastern Europe 60% of the respondents are of the opinion that there should be a BAC-limit of 0 g/l, and only 26% of the respondents in southern are in favour of this. The percentages for northern and western countries are respectively 47% and 43%. In Eastern Europe more drivers prefer a zero BAC-limit than in other parts of Europe. This is not so surprising as a couple of countries in Eastern Europe already have a BAC-limit of 0 g/l.
The lower the legal BAC-limit in a country is, the more drivers think that they can drink less alcohol to stay under the legal limit. 70% of the drivers of countries with a legal limit of 0 g/l (Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia) state that they may not drink any alcohol at all to remain under the legal limit. In countries with a legal limit of 0.2 g/l (Estonia, Poland, Sweden) it is 33% of the driver population that think that they cannot drink at all before driving. When the legal limit is 0 g/l, 28% of the drivers think that they remain under the legal limit after having consumed the equivalent of one glass of wine (175 ml of wine with an alcohol percentage of 12) or beer (0.5 litre of beer with an alcohol percentage between 3-3.5). When the legal limit is 0.2 g/l 64% of the drivers have the opinion that they remain under the legal limit after one glass of wine or one glass of beer. When the legal limit is 0.5 g/l 78% of the drivers think that they remain under the legal limit after having consumed the equivalent of one glass of wine or one glass of beer. In countries with a BAC of 0.8 g/l, 42% of the drivers think that they can legally consume more than one glass of wine or one glass of beer before driving and in Cyprus (legal limit of 0.9 g/l) even 31% of the drivers estimate that they can drink more than one glass of wine or one glass of beer.
82% of all drivers of all countries in the SARTRE-project are 'very' or 'fairly' in favour of a BAC-limit of 0 g/l for novice drivers.
When asked if an alcohol ignition interlock should be installed in all cars, one third of the drivers is 'very much' in favour of this and 25% of the drivers is 'fairly much' in favour of this. In Sweden, France, Portugal, and Greece 70% is 'fairly much' to 'very much' in favour of this and only 30% of the drivers in Germany, Austria, and Greece approve of this technological support.
77% of the drivers are 'very much' to 'fairly much' in favour of courses like the driver rehabilitation courses for offenders. There is not much difference between the countries on this subject although support in eastern countries is a little bit less.