Tough laws reduce Brazil road fatalities by 60%
August 5, 2008
Brazil’s zero tolerance alcohol law has been hailed as a huge success. Authorities say in little more than a month since the law was passed the death toll on the roads has dropped by 60% saving government $2.8 million. The new piece of legislation has also given police greater powers to come down hard on drunken driving.
Roadblocks are conducted to test for drunken driving, and Brazilian police are taking no chances. Police’s vigilance helps to enforce a thorough search of vehicles, driver and passengers. Brazilian military police Major Ricardo Fernandes says the slightest detection of alcohol is followed by arrest. According to legislation, they don’t tolerate any alcohol consumption for drivers. This is Brazil’s latest strategy to keep death off the roads.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, most drivers caught drinking would have easily got away, with the law permitting 0, 05% alcohol levels, the equivalent of about two beers. With penalties like huge fines, having your car impounded or spending the night behind bars, motorists in Brazil are thinking twice before having a last one for the road. More than 50% of all fatal crashes in Brazil and South Africa are by drunken drivers. But in Brazil their dry law, as it is known, has made a huge difference in people’s drinking habits.
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