Published on January 16, 2021

DRUNK DRIVING AND ALCOHOL INTERLOCK SYSTEMS

By Fondazione Ania

Tests and technological innovation to increase road safety levels in Italy. This is a part of ANIA Foundation’s mission, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to carry out social initiatives supported by the insurance sector. One of the latest is related to alcohol interlock systems testing: devices that prevent the engine to be started if the breath-alcohol concentration meets maximal alcohol guidelines in the state. The idea starts and evolves around the desire to test the use, operation and application possibilities of a device that responds to European Union guidelines. With Directive 653 of 2015, in fact, all member countries were asked to provide for the use of such devices by 2022, with specific provisions in national regulations. The Foundation has launched tests which involved corporate fleet of Gran Turismo buses, with reference to those which travel along high-frequency traffic routes and international routes. 53 alcohol interlock devices have been installed on as many vehicles; a significant percentage considering that they run over 10 million kilometers a year with over 400 drivers. The project has involved a profession that must guarantee reliability and high security levels. Tests have been going on for almost 3 years and results have been excellent: the alcohol interlock systems have not registered any cases of engine blocking. The outcome was not obvious: it is noteworthy to underline that the presence of such tools acts as a deterrent and dissuader, leading drivers to avoid alcohol -even in small amounts- before driving. In addition to this, it enhances the work of virtuous drivers and facilitates police control activities. Such results have been presented during a conference. The evidence that emerged was the basis for the drafting of a law proposal aimed at amending articles 126 and 186 bis of the highway code. The request highlights the need of mandatory interlock alcohol systems on drunk driving offenders vehicles.

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