More than 70,000 drunk drivers caught in Poland this year: police

Every day, looking at the police statistics, the number of detained, intoxicated drivers is at least 200. In October, most of them were arrested last Sunday, with the number reaching 358, Commander Robert Opas from the Road Traffic Office of the Police Headquarters said. He added that since the beginning of the year police officers have already detained over 70,000 intoxicated drivers.

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He stressed that alcohol behind the wheel is still a very big problem that directly affects safety on the road. “Police actions aimed at eliminating participants who are under the influence of illegal substances from the roads still bring ‘a rich harvest’ and are aimed at those who, despite the applicable regulations and common sense, decide to get behind the wheel during this state,” the commander emphasised.

He indicated that more than half of these arrests reveal a “state of intoxication” which is a crime committed by the driver who had more than 0.5 per mille of alcohol in the body. These people “were fully aware of the state in which they are driving,” he said.

“However, it is worth noting that the number of road accidents involving road users under the influence of alcohol has clearly decreased in the last 10 years. From the level of 4,972 incidents in 2011 to 2,540 in 2020,” Mr Opas added.

He also reminded that road traffic accidents caused by intoxicated people account for 9 percent of accidents in general. “In 2020, participants of the traffic road users under the influence of alcohol and other illegal substances caused 2,121 accidents, in which 314 people died and 2,308 people were injured,” he said.

In the group of drivers who were under the influence of alcohol, the greatest threat to safety was posed by drivers of passenger cars, causing 1,075 accidents.

Most accidents were caused “as a result of not adapting the speed to traffic conditions, not giving way to someone’s priority, incorrect overtaking and not keeping a safe distance between vehicles,” the Commander explained.

He added “people under the influence of alcohol most often participate in road accidents on weekends: on Saturdays (20.3 percent) and Sundays (19.5 percent)”.