People who have alcohol problems should be given an alcohol ignition interlock in the car on prescription, rather than automatically be deprived of their driver’s licence, believes MA-Rusfri Traffik and the Norwegian Medical Association.
Today, a doctor must take away a person‘s driver’s licence when he or she seeks medical help for an alcohol problem, writes NRK.
Doctors fear that many will therefore refuse to seek medical help for their alcohol problem.
“The doctor is authorized to impose a driver’s ban there and then and the doctor is also obliged to report to the county governor about harmful alcohol use,” said Tom Sundar, head of the Norwegian Society for Community Medicine.
Every third death in traffic accidents in Norway is caused by drink driving.
In countries such as Sweden and Finland, the solution for the doctor to prescribe alcohol ignition interlocks so that the person cannot start the car until they have had a breathalyzer test, has worked well.
Sundar emphasized that the alcohol ignition interlock is not a quick fix. It requires an agreement between a doctor and a patient on follow-up treatments for over a year or two. This has yielded good results for 8 out of 10 users in Sweden.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today