Road Safety News

European drink drive results contrast with those in the UK

Tuesday 9th February 2016

A pan-European drink drive campaign carried out during December 2015 resulted in more than 15,700 drink drive arrests – but at a much lower detection rate than the festive campaigns here in the UK.

During the weeklong campaign (7-13 Dec) coordinated by TISPOL across 27 countries, 1,134,924 breath tests were conducted, with 15,791 drivers (1.4%) testing positive.

By comparison, in the 2015 All-Wales festive campaign 2.61% tested positive, while the figures in Scotland and England were 3% and 5.02% respectively.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council attributed the high percentage of positive tests in England to an “intelligence-led approach” which targeted “drink drive hotspots”.

Talking about the pan-European results, Ruth Purdie, TISPOL general secretary, said: “These figures show a continued decline in the proportion of drivers who fail breath tests, which is good news.

“However, if we scale up that proportion to include all the 300m licence holders across Europe, then we reach an estimate of more than four million drink-drivers.

“This shows that drink-driving remains a massive problem which will continue to threaten our efforts to meet the EU’s 2020 casualty reduction targets.”

TISPOL says stopping drivers to check for alcohol and drug offences also provides police officers with the opportunity to make other appropriate safety and security checks. During the week of the drink drive operation, officers also detected and dealt with offences connected with illegal immigration and human trafficking (132), drug-related crimes (448), firearms crimes (46), property crimes (165), wanted persons (244) and 1,173 other crimes.


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