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08/09/2011

Drink driving abroad: no hiding place

6 July 2011. EU states will soon be swapping car registration details regularly to track down drivers who have committed serious traffic offences, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, while in another EU country.

The new directive will improve road safety and make all offenders equal before the law, including those living outside the country where they commit an offence.

EU Member States will have to provide details of the driver or holder of the vehicle registration certificate to the authorities of the country where the offence took place. These will then send the offender a strictly private registered letter informing him/her of the offence committed as well as any punishment due, appeal procedures and legal consequences. Any fine and payment method will be based on the law of the state where the offence occurred.

The Parliament has already backed the Directive which now needs to be unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers. Member States will then have 24 months to apply the new rules, except for Ireland, the UK and Denmark, which are remaining outside the system for now.

Documents: Legislative Observatory