CONVICTIONS for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have risen 10% in just one year.
According to figures from Spain’s Attorney General’s Office, there were 56,173 convictions for the offences in 2018, compared with 51,085 in 2017.
This represented 21% of all convictions for any kind of crime. And, highlighting the danger of the offence, is that more than 40% of drivers who died in traffic accidents on Spanish roads had consumed alcohol or drugs.
Pere Navarro, head of the DGT national traffic authority, is now planning to bring in more roadside checks, rather than introduce stricter penalties.
He told Spanish newspaper El Pais: “It’s not clear to me that the solution lies in higher penalties. At some point we might have to do it, but we don’t support it.”
The number of roadside checks carried out has declined, markedly, after deep cuts in public spending. In 2013, the Guardia Civil tested 6.4m drivers for alcohol. By 2017, this number had fallen to 5.18m.
Last year, 89,264 people were convicted of all driving offences, which was an 8.9% rise over 2017.
Road fatalities, on the other hand, fell to 1,180 last year, compared with 1,198 in 2017.
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