ROADPOL Alcohol&Drugs Operation
Back At Full Throttle With Pandemic End
12 JAN - ROADPOL Alcohol&Drugs operation is back at full throttle after the end of the pandemic with a sharp 75% increase in number of inspected drivers compared to 12 months ago.
The latest enforcement action was carried out throughout Europe 5-11 December 2022 targeting a period traditionally notorious for drink/drug driving.
“Compared to the same operation last year when raging Omicron variation of the COVID seriously limited breathalyzer tests use, this time the operation unfolded at full scale in the 15 countries who took part”, informed ROADPOL Operational Working Group Secretary and an officer of the Police in the Netherlands, Henk Jansen. According to the reports more than 753.000 (428.616 last year) drivers were checked throughout Europe during the operation. Of these 12.180 (9.887 last year) drivers were under the influence of alcohol and 3.184 (2.165) under the influence of drugs. It is not possible to indicate in which country the violation percentage was the highest, because the way of checking differs too much. Numbers show a positive trend with portion of drivers found drunk dropping from to 2,3% to 1.6% and drug driving dwindling slightly from 0,5% to 0.42%.
“The police do not only check for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs during these two weeks in May and December. Every day road users are checked by the police for this and each day people receive a report for this, sometimes their driving license is confiscated or they have to appear in court. The aim of the action week is therefore more to draw extra attention to the dangers of driving under the influence”, Jansen explained.
It has been scientifically proven that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly increases the chance of being involved in a collision. This chance is even higher when alcohol and drugs have been used at the same time. “But this also turns out to be true in daily practice. In many collisions in which the police arrive at the scene, it appears that a driver of a vehicle was driving under the influence. The use of alcohol and / or drugs before or while driving a vehicle leads to a large number of collisions with other road users or fixed objects every year. The number of road users who are injured or killed in these collisions is also high”, Jansen said.
Even though traffic safety is the focus of the Operations, the European traffic polices also found criminal offenses. Respectively 135 illegal residents, 514 drug related crimes, 35 firearms findings and 109 property offenses were reported. 315 wanted persons were identified. In addition, 664 other crimes (no traffic offences) were discovered and countless fines were issued for all kinds of traffic violations.
ROADPOL's next “Alcohol and Drugs” operation is scheduled for 14-20 June 2023. An Alcohol & Drugs Marathon (24 hour non-stop checks) will also be held then. The next ROADPOL pan-European control week will take place 13-19 February 2023 with the focus on trucks and buses.