Less alcohol, but more drugs behind the wheel, police campaign shows

Less alcohol, but more drugs behind the wheel, police campaign shows
A police campaign found that less people drive under the influence of alcohol. Credit: Pixabay.

During the “Weekend without alcohol behind the wheel” police campaign from Friday 10 January to Monday 13 January, fewer people tested positive for alcohol, but more for drugs, the results show.

Of the 62,441 checked drivers over the weekend, 1.4% had had too much to drink, which is less than during the same period last year.

During the previous edition of the campaign, which was also organised by the local and federal road police, 1.7% of checked drivers had too much alcohol in their blood, indicating a downward trend compared to 2019.

However, there was an increase in people driving under the influence of drugs. Of the 228 drivers that had to take a saliva test to see whether or not they had taken drugs, 117 people tested positive, compared to 102 out of 224 tests in 2019.

“A big difference compared to January 2019, when 102 out of 224 saliva tests were positive,” said the police. “It is important to bear in mind that a saliva test is only taken when there are indications that a driver would be under the influence. However, these figures could indicate an evolution to keep an eye on,” they added.

The federal police stressed that the accident figures in Belgium “unfortunately still indicate too high a tolerance for alcohol behind the wheel among some drivers.”

In 2018, 4,710 accidents involving deaths or injuries were recorded in which the driver was under the influence of alcohol, an increase compared to 2017.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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