Number of clearly drunken drivers in traffic flow was higher in 2022 while slightly fewer drivers had taken a glass or two

Publication date 7.10.2022 11.26
News item

Since the year 1988, the Police has made nation-wide breathalyser tests (R survey) twice a year, in spring and autumn. All drivers passing the Police spot check point are analysed.

This autumn’s Police spot checks involved 38 487 drivers subjected to breathalyser tests. In total, 73 drivers (0.18%) were recorded as drunken drivers. Those who had consumed some alcohol but did not exceed the limit were 248 (0.63%).

- The number of clearly drunken drivers in the traffic flow was slightly higher than in preceding years while the number of those who were under the incriminating limit of alcohol consumption was slightly lower, Chief Superintendent Heikki Ihalainen of the National Police Board reports on the results.

The percentage of drunken drivers in traffic was at its lowest in 2012 (0.11%) and at its highest in 1990 (0.25%). There is some yearly variation in the numbers but the percentage has remained fairly established between 0.11 and 0.14 during the past few years.
The drivers picked up in the traffic flow are subjected to a screening with a breathalyser. If the result is lower than the punishable limit, or 0.50 ‰ or 0.22 mg/l, the driver is recorded as one who has consumed a few sips.

If the result of the screeding exceeds the punishable limit, the driver is sent to a precision alcometer or blood test. If the content of alcohol exceeds the punishable limit, the driver is recorded as drunken driver in the survey (R-juopot in the Finnish-language tables).

The drivers under the influence of drugs or pharmaceuticals are not subject to a specific survey but the corresponding numbers are followed in the survey spot checks. This year 15 persons under the influence were caught, compared to ten drivers in 2018.

Every year, approximately over 100 000 drivers are subjected to nation-wide breathalyser tests. However, only one large-scale yearly spot check was organised in 2018 and 2022, with 40 000 drivers taking the breathalyser test. Between 2018 and 2022, no surveys were made due to the Covid-19 situation.

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