From data collected during the latest special campaign monitoring for the misuse of alcohol or drugs behind the wheel, the DGT has revealed the alarming state of the number of drivers detected.
The campaign, which ran from the 4th until the 10th of June, revealed that every day 450 drivers were detected having consumed alcohol or drugs, almost 19 every hour. Of course, more alarming is the fact that to this figure we must consider those drivers who were not detected.
During the week-long period, officers from the Guardia Civil traffic police stopped 173.783 drivers and subjected them to alcohol and / or drugs tests. The progressive increase in drug controls is a consequence of the high percentage of drivers who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, since, according to the latest report on the Study of the Prevalence of drug and alcohol consumption of vehicles in Spain (EDAP ), 12% of randomly chosen drivers tested positive for alcohol and drugs above legal limits.
Regarding the drug tests, of the 4,469 tests that were done on drivers who had displayed signs or symptoms of having ingested a substance, committed a violation or being involved in an incident, 1,461 were positive, which is 33% of the total. Among the drugs most commonly used by these drivers are cannabis (1,047 cases), cocaine (498 cases) and amphetamines (178 cases).
With regard to alcohol, 174,689 blood alcohol control tests were carried out and 1,774 drivers tested positive. Of these, 1,547 were detected in preventive controls, 130 after having committed an offence, another 90 for being involved in an incident and 7 more for presenting obvious symptoms of alcohol intake.
Of the 1,774 drivers who tested positive for alcohol, 239 have had their cases presented to the courts for exceeding the rate of 0.60 mg / l in exhaled air. In addition, cases against 11 drivers have been brought to justice for refusing to carry out alcohol tests.
To both of these figures, once collated, we must also add the number of controls and detections carried out by local and regional police, who supported the Guardia Civil during the campaign.
Amongst the more unusual cases during this campaign occurred in Burgos when traffic officers reported an ambulance driver who had picked up patients for transfer to the University Hospital. Whilst travelling on the N-234 road, the driver tested positive for amphetamines and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main constituent of marijuana.
In Murcia, in the Santomera service station, the driver of an 18-ton articulated vehicle was driving five times the maximum rate of alcohol(remember, all maximum permitted alcohol rates are lower in Spain than the UK for example, but professional drivers have even stricter limits).