Tuesday, December 1

Fines for drunk driving have fallen by 45% since the curfew in Elche


One of the alcohol consumption controls established by the Police, in file image.

One of the alcohol consumption controls established by the Police, in file image.
ANTONIO AMORÓS

The implementation of curfew to reduce cases of coronavirus has brought with him the reduced fines for driving under the influence of alcohol, as shown by the data of the Road Crime Unit of the Local Police of Elche. The fall reaches 45% during the month of October if the number of sanctions is compared with the same month of 2019. Thus, while this year they have been imposed 76 penalties -This includes other crimes related to road safety such as driving without a license- 142 sanctions were filed last year for the same reasons.

According to sources from the Local Police of Elche, this reduction is mainly due to three factors. The first, and most obvious, is that due to mobility restrictions, fewer vehicles are circulating throughout the day and especially at night, when a good part of these sanctions are interposed after nightlife. The second involves the reduction of the controls carried out by the police units, since these agents now support other priority tasks such as the control of restrictive measures by businesses, hoteliers and citizens. The last reason is related to the very nature of these controls.

The Local Police of Elche has been using rapid tests for some time that allow practically all drivers who go through a control to be tested. They are about quick tests, in which with a brief blow to the device it emits a red light, if you have drunk, or green, if it does not detect alcohol in the expired air.

However, this test cannot be done for health security, since all the conductors blow into the same device, which increases the chances of contagion both for the users and for the agent who operates the device.

Breathalyser

Instead, the agents should use the usual breathalyzer, that by having individual and disposable mouthpieces, offers greater security in terms of coronavirus infections. This test requires a older time, which means that it cannot be done to all drivers, so they must randomly select those who undergo these tests or reserve those who offer signs of drunkenness or being under the influence of drugs.

This does not mean, they point out from the Local Police of Elche, that controls are not being carried out, but that they are not carried out with the same assiduity as a few months ago. The changes in schedules related to the establishment of the curfew have also changed the type of controls and the way they are carried out. So now focus more on weekend afternoons and at dinner times, when there are more people on the streets and a greater volume of traffic is concentrated.

They still are random, yes, drug controls, where the positives are located without a pattern or fixed hours, also during the week, unlike alcohol.

Accidents on urban roads drop 42%

The number of accidents on urban roads too a descended almost the same percentage as fines for alcohol and drugs: 42%. In October of this year, 83 accidents with material damage and 37 with injured people were recorded, while a year ago there were 142 accidents with material damage and 54 with injuries. Another reflection of the impact on mobility that the health crisis has had, especially since the curfew was approved.

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