Map of the Day: Legal Blood Alcohol Levels, By Country

Today’s map comes from the World Health Organization. It shows legal blood alcohol levels for driving a car. Anything above these levels and you can be arrested for drunk driving.

This map comes from a very comprehensive study of road safety and traffic accidents released yesterday by the WHO.  Drunk driving is one of 5 key risk factors that the WHO identifies as contributing the most to traffic fatalities. The others include: speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. Shockingly, the WHO finds that only 28 countries, representing just 7% of the world’s population, has laws covering all five of these risk factors.

Other data from the WHO’s report.

In 2010, there were 1.24 million deaths worldwide from road traffic crashes, roughly the same number as in 2007. The report shows that while 88 Member States were able to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities, that number increased in 87 countries.

Legislative change key to reducing fatalities

Key to reducing road traffic mortality will be ensuring that as many Member States as possible have in place laws covering the five key risk factors listed above. The report highlights that:

-59 countries, covering 39% of the world’s population, have implemented an urban speed limit of 50 km/h or less and allow local authorities to further reduce these limits;

-89 countries, covering 66% of the world’s population, have a comprehensive drink-driving law, defined as a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of 0.05 g/dl or less;

-90 countries, covering 77% of the world’s population, have motorcycle helmet laws which cover all riders on all roads with all engine types and have a motorcycle helmet standard;

-111 countries, covering 69% of the world’s population, have comprehensive seat-belt laws covering all occupants; and

-96 countries, covering 32% of the world’s population, have a law requiring child restraints.

And here’s a video presentation of the report.