Drink drivers' views of a voluntary alcohol interlock program for drink driving offenders in Sweden

Susanne Gustafsson

A permanent alcohol interlock program was introduced in Sweden in 2012. The program is voluntary and makes it possible for drivers that are apprehended by the police to keep their driver’s license if they install an alcohol interlock in their vehicle. The Swedish Transport Agency is responsible for the program and it applies to all types of driver’s licenses. The duration of the program is one or two years, depending on the severity of the drink driving offence. A previous study showed that about 30 percent of all drivers that had their license withdrawn due to drink driving applied for and was granted participation in the program, 10 percent were assigned to the one-year program and 20 percent to the two-year program. Moreover, the age groups 35–44, 45–54 and 55–64 have the highest participation rates (in relation to the total number of drink drivers), about 35 percent, while the youngest (≤24) and oldest (≥75) have participation rates of about 20 and 10 percent, respectively.

The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge of the drink drivers’ views of the program, both participants and those who chose not to participate. More specifically, we were interested in why they have chosen or not chosen to participate in the program and their views on the application process, doctor visits and the handling of the interlocks. We also wanted to know if their health and drinking habits had changed after the drink driving offence.

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