Big rise in people caught drug-driving

Published Mon, 02/07/2018 - 09:59

TISPOL's Alcohol and Drugs operation ran in 28 countries from 4 to 10 June inclusive, and was organised by the Operation Working Group (OPG) under the leadership of the German TISPOL Office. Results show a significant increase in the number of people caught drug-driving, compared with the same week in 2017. 

According to the results, a total of 1,000,171 vehicle drivers were checked throughout Europe. Of these, 12,112 vehicle drivers were found under the influence of alcohol and 3,875 vehicle drivers were found under the influence of drugs. 

Although the controls were mainly focused on the traffic safety, police officers were also able to identify many criminal offences: 

296 people were prosecuted for illegal stays 
there were 721 drug seizures
39 instances of weapon seizures
471 property offences were recorded
867 wanted persons were identified

Driving under the influence of drugs increased by almost 1,000 offences compared with the previous year. 

Estonia (13.68%), Croatia (4.57%), Slovenia (4.39%) and Germany (3.67%) have the highest complaint rates (meaning the percentage of people controlled for an alcohol or drug offence who provided a positive sample) , whilst the most compliant drivers appear to be in Finland (0.26%), Hungary (0.30%), Poland (0.44%) and Sweden (0.98%). 

Commenting on the results, Volker Orben, Head of the German TISPOL Office and Chair of OPG, said: "Following the so-called "integrated approach", police officers have been keeping their eyes on crime offences while stopping cars for the traffic checks.

"Recognition of driving under the influence of drugs depends a great deal on the training level provided for police officers.

"Drivers aged 18 to 25, even if they are not consuming alcohol or using drugs, are often unaware of possible dangers. The use of drugs is played down, although even the small amounts of narcotics already makes incapable to drive.

It is often not taken under consideration that the driving ability can be impaired on long-term even when the drugs were consumed one or more weeks ago," he added.

In order to promote better learning and understanding in effective road policing, TISPOL promotes  constant exchange between its member countries. The German TISPOL Office offers an annual one-week road policing seminar for colleagues from all over Europe, organised by the German Police University of Rhineland-Palatinate.