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Old 31.08.2011, 18:26
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Swiss attitude to drink driving?

I'm looking for other people's experience of this.

In the UK, it's a big deal. If you get caught, you're in trouble.

Here, people just don't seem to be that bothered about it. Where we live, there is a bar/restaurant that is open late nights 3 days of the week.

Every time, you will see a handful of customers (nearly always the same ones) leave the pub, stagger to their car, get in and either tear off or crawl off, driving down the road in the wrong lane/swerving etc.

The bar owners must know this goes on, but don't seem to care. Obviously their friends are happy enough for them to do it. I hardly ever see any police cars around here either.

Is that normal?
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Old 31.08.2011, 18:29
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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I'm looking for other people's experience of this.

In the UK, it's a big deal. If you get caught, you're in trouble.

Here, people just don't seem to be that bothered about it. Where we live, there is a bar/restaurant that is open late nights 3 days of the week.

Every time, you will see a handful of customers (nearly always the same ones) leave the pub, stagger to their car, get in and either tear off or crawl off, driving down the road in the wrong lane/swerving etc.

The bar owners must know this goes on, but don't seem to care. Obviously their friends are happy enough for them to do it. I hardly ever see any police cars around here either.

Is that normal?
It's less of a deal than in the uk, however the limit is way lower. You can go to Prison here for a few days & not get a criminal record.

The Police generally work office hours, overtime is not encouraged.
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Old 31.08.2011, 18:46
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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I'm looking for other people's experience of this.


Is that normal?
Pretty much the same over in Geneva Lausanne direction.

My friend goes out with a swiss crowd regularly and is ready to stay sober and drive, she has really struggled to get the regular male drivers to agree!

I guess the attitude to women drivers is also a bit different too..

..take your pick, drunk man or sober woman?
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Old 31.08.2011, 18:49
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

It's one of the few things I don't like, I have to admit.

People are very blase about it, even though it's incredibly dangerous.
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Old 31.08.2011, 18:49
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

I've seen more spot checks in this country than I ever did in the UK.

I think maybe smaller places, like where you appear to live, people think they can risk it. There's a lot more police activity in the city. If it really bothers you, I'd tell the police. If you report it, they have to respond, even if it's just to warn the landlord/owner.
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Old 31.08.2011, 18:53
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

Ah, so the police lawfully have to come out and look? Not in the UK way "we'll send someone out" and then never do anything?

I might consider that, because sometimes my girlfriend is coming home around the time they are leaving, but I think she'll be opposed to it because there's a fair chance the owner/patrons will know to within 3 houses who's called the police.
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Old 31.08.2011, 19:00
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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The Police generally work office hours, overtime is not encouraged.
True. Because of the low police profile, I think some folks here think they can get away with it.
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Old 31.08.2011, 19:10
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

It's true that they seem obsessed with controlling speed limits, and don't do a lot of alcotest...

After all, it brings much more profit for much less work to install radars everywhere than to do alcotests at night...
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Old 31.08.2011, 19:29
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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True. Because of the low police profile, I think some folks here think they can do get away with it.
Fixed that for you.

It's the same in rural Norfolk, England. They all do it, and practically never get caught. Despite the reputation of the Norfolk dwellers, they have developed some quite ingenious methods of local rozzerei avoidance. I'm sure the rural Swiss have similar methods. Not that I codone drinking and driving of course.

Last edited by Slaphead; 31.08.2011 at 19:46. Reason: Made the "fix" clearer
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Old 31.08.2011, 21:08
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

In rural Norfolk, the local rozzer would be closely related to most of his 'customers' anyway...actually, not that different in rural switzerland I guess
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Old 02.09.2011, 18:58
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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It's true that they seem obsessed with controlling speed limits, and don't do a lot of alcotest...
I have to disagree. As a car driver, I frequently see spot checks, and if there is the faintest whiff of alcohol, they will test you.
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Old 02.09.2011, 19:30
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

I think everyone is generalizing the situation, probably in both countries. I've seen a bunch of police checkpoints here, although they do seem to be more frequent in the Christmas / New Year period and at hours when they are likely to get the most custom. There are often complete freeway lane closures where all motorists are funneled into one lane and made to drive at a snail's pace past the police. This can be at any time, I've seen them at 2 am in Aargau just out of the Bözberg tunnel or on the exit lane of the A1 freeway at the "Frassbalke" in Wettingen.

There is no cavalier attitude to drinking here. If you're over the limit you will be prosecuted. And rightly so, it's dangerous enough out there without some asshole under the influence wiping out a loved one just because they didn't have any self control. Just my personal opinion, but I'd go for the zero option anytime over the current limit. Zero tolerance doesn't leave one any room to maneuver; if you drink, don't drive, period.

I get sick to death of hearing people boasting of their hormones and alcohol absorption abilities as some pathetic excuse to drink another glass. Yeah, your bones really must be hollow; now go say sorry to the mom and dad that just saw their kid bleed to death after you hit their buggy on the pedestrian crossing. Yeah, I have an opinion on this one. Bite me.
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Old 05.09.2011, 11:39
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

In all my time driving (10 years) in the UK, I've never been stopped by the police for drink driving/drugs spot checks. Been in Switzerland for a year and it has happened twice (both times on a really non-major road in the middle of nowhere) - though it could be that I just look more dodgy to the Swiss in my foreigner right hand drive car

I quite like the option some Swiss insurers give about not drinking and driving for a premium reduction (i.e. a level even lower than acceptable by law) - though I've no idea how they'd check/enforce it. Would that work in the UK?
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Old 05.09.2011, 11:46
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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I quite like the option some Swiss insurers give about not drinking and driving for a premium reduction (i.e. a level even lower than acceptable by law) - though I've no idea how they'd check/enforce it. Would that work in the UK?
They will not pay, or only pay a part of your liability, if you have an accident while having more alcohol in your blood, than agreed on in your contract.
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Old 05.09.2011, 12:06
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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They will not pay, or only pay a part of your liability, if you have an accident while having more alcohol in your blood, than agreed on in your contract.
I was just wondering more about how they make sure it gets measured if the police aren't involved and don't check those involved. But I guess they probably only care when it's the kind of major (big claim) accident when the police are involved.
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Old 05.09.2011, 12:08
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

here in bulle they have an undercover car (golf 5) that is out every th ,fr , and sat.

that is its only function, pull people over in the later hours.
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Old 05.09.2011, 13:30
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

Mind you, in Fribourg some police officers pulled over a car at 4pm, as the driver was driving all over the place and hitting the curb. He was obviously p**sed as a fart- but the policemen realised he was one of their inspectors and did NOT breathalise him - but drove him home as he was 'tired'.
One of the young policemen sent a text to a friend who is a retired police officer to tell him 'guess what'? Story got out and some now want to prosecute on the strengh of the text message- but the police say 'no proof'. Very bad example which is sending the wrong message!
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Old 06.09.2011, 22:15
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

I think no one should drive after drinking. It's not only put your own life in risk but also others.
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Old 06.09.2011, 22:50
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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I have to disagree. As a car driver, I frequently see spot checks, and if there is the faintest whiff of alcohol, they will test you.
The only experience I had here contradicts that; I was at a friends for dinner and had one real beer and a load of non-alcohol ones, on the way home someone reversed into my mobility car so i had to call the cops and I fully expected to be breathalised for stinking of booze but nope, even though he made a show of leaning in to give me a good sniffing to. I doubt your average copper can tell booze from fake booze.
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Old 06.09.2011, 23:27
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Re: Swiss attitude to drink driving?

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I think everyone is generalizing the situation, probably in both countries. I've seen a bunch of police checkpoints here, although they do seem to be more frequent in the Christmas / New Year period and at hours when they are likely to get the most custom. There are often complete freeway lane closures where all motorists are funneled into one lane and made to drive at a snail's pace past the police. This can be at any time, I've seen them at 2 am in Aargau just out of the Bözberg tunnel or on the exit lane of the A1 freeway at the "Frassbalke" in Wettingen.

There is no cavalier attitude to drinking here. If you're over the limit you will be prosecuted. And rightly so, it's dangerous enough out there without some asshole under the influence wiping out a loved one just because they didn't have any self control. Just my personal opinion, but I'd go for the zero option anytime over the current limit. Zero tolerance doesn't leave one any room to maneuver; if you drink, don't drive, period.

I get sick to death of hearing people boasting of their hormones and alcohol absorption abilities as some pathetic excuse to drink another glass. Yeah, your bones really must be hollow; now go say sorry to the mom and dad that just saw their kid bleed to death after you hit their buggy on the pedestrian crossing. Yeah, I have an opinion on this one. Bite me.
I agree. You've got to be a proper prick to drink drive. My neighbour drove over a cat the other day, he finishes work some days at 4pm, goes drinking until 6pm at the local bar in our village then drives home....my kids are still sometimes playing in the street & he gets out of his car & staggers to the front door pissed.

I told him the other day I will call the police but he keeps doing it..
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