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Poles support the idea of alcohol interlocks in cars


Almost half of Poles believe that alcohol interlocks are an effective measure against drunk drivers. Despite harsh penalties, the number of drunk drivers is still huge. In February alone, the police stopped nearly 6,000 drivers while intoxicated.

As experts explain, an alcohol interlock is a device preventing the vehicle’s engine from starting if the alcohol content in the air exhaled by the driver is at least 0.1 mg in 1 dm3.

This device works in a similar way to an immobiliser. The central locking module is connected invisibly to the car’s computer, while only the sensor itself is installed in the cabin. To start the engine, the driver first has to blow into a mouthpiece that will check their sobriety status. 

From July 2022, all new types of vehicles entering the European market must be able to fit an alcohol interlock device. The European Transport Safety Council is calling for alcohol interlocks to be fitted as standard in official vehicles in the European Union and for more countries to introduce rehabilitation programmes, and mandatory alcohol interlocks for drink-driving offenders.

An alcohol interlock is also a solution that acts as a lenient punishment for drink-driving. Those who have been banned from driving can apply to have their sentence changed to a driving ban not equipped with an alcohol interlock.

“Alcohol interlocks are not only intended to mitigate the penalty. Above all, they are intended to protect other road users, allowing people who should not be on the road and pose a danger to be excluded from traffic. Obviously, they will not eliminate the problem altogether, but they can significantly reduce the number of drivers potentially creating life and health-threatening situations”, says service expert Natalia Sokołowska.

Arkadiusz Słomczyński

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