Poland cracks down on drunk drivers after freak New Year’s Day accident kills six
Poland’s government on Tuesday unveiled a plan to fight driving under the influence, after a drunk driver killed six pedestrians on New Year’s Day.
Poland has one of the worst road safety ratings in the 28-member European Union, and reckless and drunk driving are part of the problem.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters his government would like to toughen the penalties for drunk driving. He said he expected the changes to clear parliament and enter into force by early next year.
The police stop hundreds of drunk drivers every weekend in Poland, where the limit for drivers is 0.2 grammes of alcohol per litre of blood.
At the moment most drunk drivers receive suspended sentences if caught, and the government would like to see more of them — especially the repeat offenders — sent to jail.
It also proposes to up the minimum fine for driving under influence, as well as the minimum amount of time for which a driver’s licence is confiscated, Tusk said.
He added that all cars should be equipped with breathalyzer tests starting next year.
The government’s proposals come after a man lost control of his vehicle and careened into pedestrians on January 1 in northern Poland. Six people died, including one child.
Tests on the driver revealed he had two grammes of alcohol per litre of blood. He faces 12 years behind bars.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]