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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

The Local Austria
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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Driving in the rain. Photo: Erik Mclean / Pexels

Austria won't have THC limit for drivers; family poisoned in Salzburg, man charged with Nazi glorification and more news from Austria on Tuesday.


Austria Won't Follow Germany on THC Limit for Drivers

Germany plans to establish a maximum THC level for drivers following cannabis legalisation, but Austria has no such plans.

The Austrian Ministry of Transport proposed a similar system but was not approved by the coalition partner. Currently, Austria prosecutes drug use when it directly impacts driving ability.

The ÖAMTC motoring association believes a clinical examination to determine impairment remains crucial. The VCÖ traffic club sees a limit value as beneficial, especially for medical cannabis users.

Police have increased border checks for drug drivers since the German legalisation but stated they are not imposing classic border controls.

The Austrian Ministry of the Interior advises against driving under the influence of any substance, including cannabis, highlighting potential legal consequences.

How a change in the profile of asylum seekers is impacting Austria

The number of asylum applications has dropped in Austria, but changes in the profile of those arriving are creating new demands and new policies.

Mysterious Poisoning in Obertrum: Family of Six Hospitalized

Six people in Obertrum (Salzburg)  narrowly escaped serious harm after a mysterious poisoning incident on Monday evening.

The family, ranging in age from 3 to 72, were found in a detached house suffering from unknown health problems. Authorities initially suspected a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning from a wood-burning stove, but both were ruled out.

Many emergency responders, including police, paramedics, and firefighters, rushed to the scene.

"Our priority was to understand the cause and stabilise the family's condition," said Andreas Stemeseder, incident commander from the Obertrum fire department. "Despite using breathing apparatus teams, we couldn't detect harmful gas levels."

Despite a thorough search with Salzburg AG (a utility company), the cause remains unclear. All six family members were transported to the university hospital by ambulance and helicopter as a precaution.

The family reportedly had dinner together before falling ill. Police are investigating, and leftover food is being examined for contamination.


Pongau Man Back in Court for Nazi Glorification Charges

Just months after a conviction for child pornography and illegal weapons, a 67-year-old man from Pongau (Salzburg) faces new charges of glorifying National Socialism.

Prosecutors allege the man sent messages and images promoting Nazism online for over five years, with over 40 messages and ten comments documented. A search of his home uncovered a bust of Adolf Hitler and a Nazi symbol.

This is the second court case for the man within a few months. In February, he was sentenced for child pornography and weapons offences.

A guilty verdict in this case could see a harsher sentence due to the previous conviction. Eight jurors and three judges will hear the case on Tuesday, as required for National Socialist revivalism charges.


Drunken Driver Rampages Through Vienna in Wild Chase

A wild chase unfolded in Vienna on Monday morning as a driver fled a routine police check. Officers from the Döbling municipal police command attempted to stop a car in Hernals, but the driver sped off, colliding with at least ten parked vehicles and police cars during his escape.

The chase ended in Ottakring after the suspect rammed another patrol car. He attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended by police.

The 29-year-old Turkish national was found to be under the influence of alcohol (around 1 per mile), and small amounts of narcotics were seized. He and a police officer sustained minor injuries.


Burgenland Pushes for Refugee Cap, Limits Intake

Burgenland's Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) calls for a national cap on refugees and plans to limit its intake.

SPÖ chairman Roland Fürst announced they would only accept 340 refugees annually, down from 800. This aligns with their national cap proposal of 10,000 annually. This move would require ending the current agreement with the federal government on refugee distribution.

Fürst highlighted Burgenland's significant contribution to refugee accommodation, which is currently ranking third nationally. He rejects compensating for "undesirable developments" in other states at the expense of Burgenland residents. He sees integrating refugees into the job market as a more effective solution.

The opposition ÖVP party criticises the move as fear-mongering and "show politics."


Father-Son Race Leads to Impounded Cars in Kapfenberg

A reckless father-son duo faces consequences after a street race in Kapfenberg, Styria, over the weekend.

Undercover police officers spotted the 57-year-old man and his 25-year-old son drag racing at a traffic light, reaching speeds up to 118 km/h.

Following a brief pursuit, both vehicles were pulled over. Neither driver admitted to racing, claiming it was a "performance check" after engine repairs.

Authorities were unconvinced. Both men had their licenses suspended and their vehicles impounded by the Bruck-Mürzzuschlag district authority.

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