From the 13th December, police officers across Europe will be running their one-week campaign to mount a crackdown on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) is again warning drivers of the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol, or drugs, or a combination of the two.
Chief superintendent Pasi Kemppainen, a member of TISPOL’s executive committee and chair of the organisation’s alcohol and drug working group, said: “A combination of education and rigorous enforcement has helped reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured as a result of collisions involving someone drink-driving or drug-driving. Drivers in all European countries can expect highly visible and widespread enforcement of alcohol and drug laws during the operation.
“Around 35,000 people died in road collisions in Europe during 2009, and we know that drink-driving is one of the major causes. Those who choose to ignore all the warnings and drive after drinking or using drugs are taking an unacceptable risk and are putting the lives of others in danger. We intend doing everything possible to remove these people from the road, not only during the seven days of this operation but at any other time of the year, too.
“Our advice is simple. If you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink. If you have used recreational drugs, then do not drive. If you are taking medicine, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter, then read the notes of advice that go with it. If these tell you not to drive after taking the medicine, then do not drive. The advice is there for a reason, to keep you and others safe.
“If you are in any doubt about medicines and driving, then our advice is to consult a healthcare professional before you get behind the wheel.”
During a similar week-long operation in December 2009, a total of 970,877 drivers were checked in 23 European countries. Officers reported 16,499 alcohol offences and 1,119 drug offences.