May 14, 1988 a truck collided with an old school bus which had been purchased from a church organization.
27 people died – a lot of the children. Of course the collision was to blame but also the lack of emergency exits caught a lot of persons in the burning bus. The driver of the truck had too much to drink and it led not only the United States but also countries like Denmark rethink their drinking laws.
I would like to say that safety has been the main concern in the Danish strategy against drunk driving, but the present limit of only 0.5 is simply too low compared with the international recognized limit of 0.8. The Danish laws was changed to the building of a single bridge constructed to ease the import of cheap labor from the southern part of Sweden where they genetically are unable to handle even the slightest amount of alcohol in their system. Their level is only 0.2
Today we know that it is important to introduce the youth to alcohol before they can drive so they can learn the effects of alcohol on their body before they take the wheel of some vehicle which has the potential to kill people. As long as teenagers only walk or use a bicycle they can only damage their own health and alcohol is so important as a socializing tool in the high schools where Friday bars brings the students together that this rite of passage is mandatory.
That is the main reason for the Danish 16.5 limit on alcohol. Alcohol with a percentage below 16.5 minors can buy on their own.
I hope that we never will see a disaster like the one in Kentucky. Of course we have people who never learn and the police can take the car they drive in and sell it on auctions if they catch a person with numerous offences regardless of who is the owner if they owner has allowed the convicted offender to drive the car.
It is import when the society deals with an offender that the focus is on preventing the person from driving. The punishment should not include mandatory rehab, but rather the offer to enter rehab, because rehab doesn’t work if the offender lacks the motivation for a change.
We have very few cases of DUI in Denmark. I hope that we can continue our strategy when it is so efficient.