Switzerland imposes alcohol limit on cable car operators

Previously could escape criminal prosecution if drunk on the job
By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi
|safety-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/02/2015

ZURICH (Reuters) — Switzerland on Wednesday closed a legal loophole that allowed cable car drivers to escape criminal prosecution if caught drunk on the job as the law did not impose an alcohol limit on them.

But as of Oct. 1, the Alpine nation's cable car operators will be subject to such a limit, bringing them in line with other vehicle operators and drivers.

"Employees who are entrusted with safety-relevant tasks will no longer be able to perform these duties after (a blood alcohol level of) 0.5 parts per thousand," Switzerland's highest governing body said in a statement.

A spokesman for the federal traffic office said that the new rule was enacted to clear up a dissatisfying legal situation.

"Until now, it was already forbidden to perform security-relevant cable car activities while drunk, but under the prior formulation it was not possible to criminally prosecute someone caught under the influence of alcohol, except in the case of an accident," he said.

The revision was not to his knowledge a response to any known cases of a cable car being operated by persons intoxicated, he said.

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