Seventeen percent of Swiss drivers report that they have sat behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.5 milligrams per millilitre (0.05%) – the legal limit in Switzerland – at least once in the past 30 days.
This statistic puts Switzerland in third place in Europe when it comes to driving under the influence, behind France (22%) and Belgium (18%).
The unique investigation of drivers in 17 European countries, led by ESRA (European Survey of Road Users' Safety Attitudes), revealed some key differences. At the bottom of the list for drunk driving, the rates were much lower: 4% of drivers surveyed in Poland, 2% in Sweden and 1% in Finland reported driving with a BAC of over 0.5 mg/ml.
The Swiss Accident Prevention Bureau (BFU) reported on Tuesday that the research also indicates that Switzerland is less supportive of measures to fight against drunk driving, such as a zero consumption policy, than its average European neighbour.
Otherwise, the behaviour of Swiss drivers is similar to those in the 16 other European countries studied.
In Switzerland, 35% of drivers admit to talking on their mobile phones while driving at least once during the last 12 months. The European average is 38%.
The survey was conducted using 1,000 respondents in each of the 17 nations, and was carried out between June and July 2015.
swissinfo.ch and agencies