Iceland Lowers Legal Blood Alcohol Level
The Icelandic parliament Althingi unanimously approved new traffic laws. Decreases in blood alcohol levels are among the adopted changes.
The maximum permissible amount of blood alcohol concentration in a driver will be reduced from .05 to .02 BAC. It is stated that there is a definite policy of the authorities that alcohol and driving motor vehicles do not coincide.
Evidence shows that driving under the influence of alcohol is the second most common cause of fatal traffic accidents in Iceland after speeding. Studies also show that .05 blood alcohol concentration has a significant impact on the driving performance and increases the likelihood of accidents. A driver with a blood alcohol level of .05 is 150 times more likely to die in a traffic accident, and 30 times more likely to suffer serious injuries.
Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister of Transport and Rural Development, welcomes the new legislation that has been underway for no less than the past twelve years.
A comprehensive revision of the Traffic Act began in May 2017 and was based on an earlier bill that was prepared by a committee in 2007. Extensive data was gathered on the status of traffic in Iceland, other Nordic countries and in other European countries when drafting the bill. A number of stakeholders were also consulted, as well as the major traffic experts in Iceland.