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Drunk driving IS a problem in Finland

February 20, 2007
Here is a headline that makes me fume, "Doubling in number of accidents caused by youth drunk driving"… It is from an article in Helsingin Sanomat’s International Edition from today. Read more here:
Apparently back in 2004 when the alcohol tax was cut in Finland, there was no noticeable increase in drunk driving stats in Finland according to a HS International article from August 23.
I think this is a bunch of hooey – of course drunk driving has become more of a problem, so has other anti-social behaviour in Finland. I think that this is in part due to the alcohol tax cut of 2004.
I find it amazing that the Finnish government is blissfully sitting back and letting some of its citizens slowly drink themselves to death and maim and kill others in alcohol-related violence, drunk driving and stupid (and PREVENTABLE) accidents like drowning, fires and poisoning.
Late last year the media reported an increase in alcohol-related deaths in Finland in 2004. Hit particularly hard are working age Finns, especially men between 45 and 49, where alcohol is the culprit in a third of deaths of this age group. Why is nothing being done about this?
The Finnish Parliament is currently on a break because of upcoming elections in March, but increasing the tax on hard spirits in Finland was one thing that was put on the table before the recess. Whether this becomes a reality or not is another thing, we will have to wait for the outcome of the elections in March and find out whether the government is serious in taking action on alcohol-related problems in this country. Many researchers and front-line health care workers have been extremely critical of the tax cuts on alcohol, with many believing it was a mistake to do so in the first place.
I have to say I certainly agree with this… and I certainly think that drunk-driving is problem here and people in Finnish society just sit back and accept it.
It is time to wage war on drunk driving… I think Liikenneturva should be brave enough to come forth with a "shock and awe" campaign against drunk driving – there is no other way to wake people up to the preventable tragedies that took the lives of at least 86 Finns last year.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    February 24, 2007 10:06 pm

    Perhaps if there was more media coverage…. certainly the rest of the world knows that it’s a serious problem in Finland.  Are there support groups and rehab centers?

  2. Joseph permalink
    September 26, 2008 10:38 am

    I thought Finland have a law that drunk drivers were sentenced to 6 month at hard labor. That those who built the Helsinki airport included the mayor of Helsinki at the time. Where did that law go?

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