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Challenges of drink-driving enforcement in Vietnam
  1. H Nguyen*,
  2. J Passmore,
  3. N Nguyen,
  4. C Pham
  1. Correspondence Hanoi School of Public Health, 138 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

Abstract

Alcohol is a well documented risk factor for road traffic crashes, however information on drinking and driving in low income countries is often limited. In Vietnam, despite the fact that the control of drink-driving (DD) has been part of road safety law since 2001, implementation and enforcement has been limited. In 2008, the National People's Assembly approved a revised law which included strengthening of efforts in DD prevention including a decrease in blood and breath alcohol concentration limits down from 80mg/dl (0.08) to 50mg/dl (0.05) (0.25mg/l breath) for motorcycle riders and from 0.08 to zero for drivers of cars and other four wheel vehicles. The law came into effect on 1 July, 2009. To describe the current knowledge, attitude and practice of DD in Vietnam, a cross sectional survey of 1200 adult household members was conducted in three provinces. Nearly 80% of respondents where aware of new restrictions for DD, however, less than 20% knew what that limit was and when it took effect. More than 90% of respondents reported awareness of the dangers of DD and that the threshold was necessary, however, more than 80% still reported that they drive or ride after drinking and 58% would still travel as a passenger with a motorcycle rider who had drunk alcohol. These results show a number of challenges to implementing DD regulations in Vietnam. Further communication and education on the risks and consequences of DD is required however these in themselves will be ineffective without consistent enforcement and strengthening the perception of being caught. Currently, incomplete police procedures as well as a lack of equipment is limiting enforcement capacity.

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