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Stricter Alcohol Rules for Air Crews

The Swedish government is suggesting stricter alcohol laws for pilots and air crews - and for all the passengers as well. The alcohol rules for flying a plane should be the same as driving a car or a boat, says Åsa Torstensson, Minister for Infrastructure.

At the moment, the Swedish law says that the air crew must have less than 0,2 permillage of alcohol in their blood eight hours before departure, and it is not allowed to drink any alcohol during the 24 hours prior to departure.

This is already a little stricter than in other European countries, where the 0,2 permillage limit applies to when the plane is about to depart.

But now the government wants to introduce even stricter rules: on top of the limit of 0,2 permillage for drunkenness in the air, a limit for serious drunkenness at 1,0 permillage is to be introduced. And this applies to all those who work with airline security, in other words: the pilots and the rest of the crew on board, but also the air traffic control on the ground.

With the stricter laws, it will also be possible for the police to routinely ask the airline crew to blow the breathalyser. At the moment, it is only possible to do so if there is reasonable suspicion that someone is drunk or under the influence of narcotics.

And for passenger who get so drunk that they endanger the security of the flight, the maximum sentence will be six months in prison - compared to just a fine today.

All this is expected to be introduced from the first of September this year.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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