By Chris King •
Updated: 17 Aug 2023 • 19:43
Image of a GNR vehicle in Portugal.
Credit: Nxr-at/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
A road safety campaign has been launched in Portugal this Thursday, August 17.
The operation, named ‘Zero Alcohol at the Wheel’ (Taxa Zero ao Volante), will run until August 23. It has been organised jointly by National Road Safety Authority (ANSR), the Republican National Guard (GNR) and the Public Safety Police (PSP), and was inserted in the National Plan of Inspection of 2023.
As explained in an official statement, this latest campaign is intended to alert drivers to the risks of driving on the roads while under the influence of alcohol.
Data show that one out of three drivers killed in road accidents in Portugal has a blood alcohol level equal to or greater than 0.5 g/l and three out of four of these drivers have a rate equal to or greater than 1.2 g/l.
Several scientific studies show that driving under the influence of alcohol causes various disturbances. These are specifically at the cognitive and information processing level. Alcohol consumption also changes the ability to react quickly to unforeseen events and causes motor incoordination.
It is also known to decrease the visual field, causing so-called tunnel vision. This loss of skills, as well as changes in behaviour, can lead to states of euphoria and disinhibition, significantly increasing the risk of being involved in road accidents the authorities pointed out.
The Zero Alcohol at the Wheel’ campaign will include:
Awareness actions will take place simultaneously with inspection operations in the following locations:
August 17, at 1:30 pm: Avenida de Ceuta (next to the Food Bank, towards Praça de Espanha), Lisbon
August 18, at 4 pm: IC20 – Km7 – Direction Almada/Costa Caparica, Setúbal
August 21, at 4:30 pm: Avenida Saraiva Carvalho, Figueira da Foz
August 22, at 2 pm: A4 – Praça das Tollagens de Amarante, direction Porto-Amarante
August 23, at 6 pm: Rotunda da Cadeia, Faro
ANSR, GNR and PSP jointly highlighted that driving under the influence of alcohol is a risk to a driver’s safety and that of other road users.
With a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l the risk of suffering a serious or fatal accident doubles they pointed out in the statement.
Accidents resulting from driving under the influence of alcohol are particularly serious, and while road accidents are not a fatality, their most serious consequences can be avoided by adopting safe behaviour on the road.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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