Police Step Up DUI Checks; Guns Rattle Neighbors; International Education Survey Shows Sobering Results

News For 5 December 2023

On Monday night, Basel police set up roadblocks on St. Jakobstrasse where the highway joins the main thoroughfare entering the city.  The purpose was to spot-check drivers for alcohol levels on the breath for indications of driving illegally under the influence.  Fortunately, of the 300-plus drivers, only one was issued a citation for driving while excessively intoxicated. The police department also issued a warning to would-be drivers that additional checks will be likely during the holiday season.


December 4th marks the anniversary honoring the patron Saint Barbara, patron saint of artillery.  In honor of this obscure event, the Basel chapter of the Association of Swiss Artillery Clubs, the oldest artillery club in Switzerland, carried out a "salute" or firing of its 7.5mm field cannon.  The neighbors of this auspicious event which takes the form of a 23 gun salute at St. Johann's Tor at 18:30 every December 4th, were undoubtedly rattled thinking a low flying airplane or unexpected explosion caused the bangs.  


The results of the "PISA" international educational survey shows that while students in the Swiss educational system have made gains in natural sciences, their reading results have deteriorated relative to the prior global study.  The survey, conducted by the OECD, is conducted every three years based on the results from 81 countries.  The latest survey focused on performance by students in mathematics showed that Switzerland ranked 8th globally.