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  • Lauri Beekmann

IQ: Barely seven out of ten Swedes think it's completely wrong to drive after a glass of wine



Fotograf: Darwin Vegher/Unsplash
Fotograf: Darwin Vegher/Unsplash

28.03.2024 - Barely seven out of ten Swedes think it's completely wrong to drive after a glass of wine Easter is here, and with it one of the busiest weekends on the roads. At the same time, only just under seven out of ten Swedes (69 percent) believe it is completely wrong to drive after drinking a glass of beer or wine. This is shown by the Systembolaget's Alcohol Index survey, which has been conducted annually since 2010 with the help of Novus.


"Drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel is a dangerous combination. With the Swedish Transport Administration's vision zero, where no one should die or be injured in traffic, it is most reasonable that alcohol is not combined with being out in traffic at all. That only just under seven out of ten Swedes think it's completely wrong to drive after drinking alcohol is worrying," says Mojtaba Ghodsi, CEO of IQ.


On a national level, the proportion that answers it is completely wrong to drive after drinking a glass of wine or beer has decreased from 88 percent in 2010 to 69 percent in 2023. The proportion that considers it right to drive after a glass has moved slowly in a more permissive direction, from 3 percent in 2010 to 5 percent in the latest measurement.


Fewer young people completely abstain Among young people, under 29, only 59 percent completely abstain from driving after a glass of wine or a beer. Among men under 29, it is just over half, 53 percent, who completely abstain. Among women of the same age, 64 percent completely abstain.


"We know that young people are more prone to taking risks, and that the thinking of consequences is fully developed only around the age of 25. Therefore, it is especially troubling that young people seem to take drinking alcohol and driving less seriously," says Mojtaba Ghodsi.


The least restrained are in Stockholm County, where 62 percent think it's completely wrong to drive after drinking alcohol. The most restrictive is in Norrbotten County, where 81 percent think it's completely wrong.


In 2022, 47 people died in alcohol or drug-related traffic accidents in Sweden, which is 25 percent of all traffic deaths. According to the Swedish Transport Administration, at least 15,000 journeys are made daily in Sweden by drivers so impaired they would be convicted of DUI if discovered. DUI is when a person driving a motor vehicle has at least 0.2 per mille alcohol or narcotics in their blood. In several countries, the DUI limit is zero per mille.


"That so many drunk drivers are out on our roads is serious and poses a risk to other road users. There is no safe limit for alcohol and driving. So if you drink alcohol this Easter, leave the car at home," advises Mojtaba Ghodsi.


About the Alcohol Index

The Alcohol Index is a composite measure of Swedes' attitudes towards alcohol, with an emphasis on binge drinking. The index value of 59.5 for 2023 is the lowest ever. The Alcohol Index is created from the answers to seven questions and presented on a scale from 0–100, where 0 is most permissive and 100 is most restrictive.


The same questions have been asked since 2010 once a year to people aged 16 and older. Until 2022, the survey was conducted on behalf of IQ. Since 2023, Systembolaget is responsible for the Alcohol Index. The survey is conducted by Novus, and the result for 2023 is based on 4,921 interviews. Read more about the Alcohol Index at https://www.omsystembolaget.se/folkhalsa/samhalle/rapporter-och-seminarier/alkoholindex/


Ever driven a car after drinking a glass of wine or a beer?

Percentage who answered "completely wrong" or "more right than wrong", and "completely right" to that question:

Ever driven a car after drinking a glass of wine or a beer?  Percentage who answered "completely wrong" or "more right than wrong", and "completely right" to that question

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