Stringent alcohol and drug checks enforced until end of weekend

by Lorraine Williamson
alcohol and drug checks

The Spanish Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has initiated rigorous alcohol and drug control checks, effective until the close of this weekend.

Alarming statistics reveal that over half (51.9%) of road fatalities in 2022 involved drivers who tested positive for alcohol, drugs, or psychotropic substances, either individually or in combination. These findings are part of the 2022 Report on Toxicological Discoveries in Traffic Accident Victims, produced in collaboration with the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences and the National Road Safety Observatory.

60,000 convictions

Last year also witnessed a surge in road-related offenses. This resulted in nearly 60,000 convictions for driving crimes while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. This number constitutes a historical peak since the Penal Code reform.

Despite a decline in the percentage of positive cases for alcohol and drugs over the past two decades, it remains crucial to reinforce the notion that a 0.0% blood alcohol level is the sole safe standard while driving. As the full DGT summer campaign states, “when you take a life on the road, you carry that burden every day thereafter.”

Heightened surveillance with alcohol and drug checks

Until Sunday, August 20, the DGT is executing a fresh campaign to heighten surveillance against the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

These campaigns retain their significance due to the continuous role of substance consumption as one of the top three risk factors in road accidents, contributing to both fatalities and accidents involving injuries.

According to the DGT, the aforementioned report also underscores that 72.6% of the 451 deceased drivers who tested positive exhibited notably elevated blood alcohol levels, equal to or exceeding 1.2g/L, indicative of severe intoxication.

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Road related offences involving alcohol or drugs

Additionally, data for 2022, recently disclosed by the Road Safety Prosecutor’s Office, indicates a rise in road-related offenses. The year witnessed a total of 59,461 convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This marked a historical peak since the Penal Code reform of Organic Law 15/2007.

Particularly, last year, the Public Prosecutor filed a total of 105,078 charges for hazardous road crimes, resulting in 104,660 convictions. A staggering 137,406 proceedings were initiated for road safety violations, representing a 9.1% increase from 2021.

Fines, points, or prison

Both young and inexperienced drivers, as well as professional drivers, face stricter blood/alcohol thresholds before incurring fines and license points. Monetary penalties for alcohol infractions range from €500 to €1,000, with 4-6 points deducted from the driver’s license. Drug-related offenses carry fines of €1,000 and 6 points. However, more severe offenders could face imprisonment.

Tráfico has been devotedly working to foster awareness on this matter through initiatives such as;

  • introducing designated drivers
  • promoting collective transport usage or public transport at events

Furthermore, addressing the passive responsibility of those who permit intoxicated individuals to drive is imperative.

As the DGT’s summer information campaign emphasises, reckless behavior can shatter lives, leaving behind persistent guilt in the aftermath of a traffic accident.

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