Drink-drive crackdown under way

With Christmas a few weeks away, prosecutors in Patras yesterday decided to target drink drivers in the area as well as speeding motorists and teen racers with heavy penalties, including the impounding of their vehicles. They agreed that if a driver’s blood-alcohol content is found to be over 0.11 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit, their car would be taken in by police and they would face immediate trial. The same punishment will apply if motorists are caught racing each other or speeding over 140 km/h. The speed limit is between 100 and 120 km/h on highways and 50 km/h in most urban areas. The penalties are also applicable to motorcycle riders and will be enforced from before the holiday season. Transport Minister Michalis Liapis has said that he is aiming to halve road accidents by 2010. Among the measures he discussed with officials at a ministry meeting yesterday are stricter rules on driving tests. Liapis also wants drivers to face regular checks to assess whether they should be able to retain their license. These will include medical and psychological tests every 10 years.