SWOV Catalogus


Legality and equality in relation to the Swedish drunk driving law.
C 10376 (In: C 10334 [electronic version only]) /83 / IRRD 866619
Klette, H.
In: Alcohol, drugs and traffic safety : proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety T92, held under the auspices of the International Committee on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety ICADTS, Cologne, Germany, 28 September - 2 October 1992, Band 1, p. 434-437

Samenvatting This paper criticises Clauses 4 and 4a of the new Swedish Drunk Driving Law of 1990, with reference to legality and equality and the facts about alcohol testing. Legal practice uses the alcohol concentration at the time of the breath or blood test as the relevant figure, because extrapolation back to the time of driving is considered unreliable. However, 95% of tests are taken during various parts of a period of decreasing alcohol levels, and the time between driving/detection can vary between half an hour and two hours. Individuals eliminate alcohol from their blood at very different rates. Breath tests are used as evidence in about 80% of drunken driving cases, and blood tests are used in about 20% of cases, but the conversion factor between the corresponding measurements is variable. Thus the author considers that both legality and equality are at great risk in the 1990 Swedish law. He suggests specific amendments to its Clauses 4 and 4a. He also criticises the very great variation in lower courts' sentencing policies for drunken driving, with ranges: (1) imprisonment 67% to 16%; (2) probation with supervision 58% to 5%; (3) probation without supervision 52% to 15%. A new Swedish Governmental Committee is working to reform the law, for example requiring compulsory treatment for imprisoned drunk drivers.
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