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More than 50 drunk drivers caught over holidays in Latvia

State police caught 52 drunk drivers between December 24 and 26 while patrolling the roads. Three drunk drivers were caught in raids in Rīga on Tuesday, December 26. Meanwhile, Latvian Television joined a police raid on the road from Rīga to Salaspils to see how it all happens.

38 of the caught drunk drivers had been under very heavy influence, meaning that not only have they been deprived of their license, but criminal proceedings have been brought against them and the car will be seized or its value recovered. If deemed suitable, their cars may even end up on the front lines in Ukraine.

Police said that the number of offenders is high, especially given the advance warnings about increased inspections and the potentially severe consequences of getting caught.

During the raid joined by LTV, all types of vehicles were stopped  including cars, minibuses, trucks, and coaches. Several hundred vehicles were stopped in total.

During that particular series of checks, the alcometer showed high blood alcohol concentrations in two drivers. One had 0.69 promille concentration, the other 0.62. That's enough to trigger an administrative infringement process and go without a driver's license for a while.

Head of Unit 2 of the State Police Response Department Karīna Krasņikova-Kļaviņa said: "Today we had hoped that all drivers would be responsible but unfortunately the very first car that was stopped already had a driver under the influence. It didn't take long for another drunk driver to arrive, plus he didn't have a driving licence."

In addition, the driver was accompanied by someone who had a valid driving license and was not under the influence of alcohol. But she had allowed her tipsy partner to take the wheel.

"Other people should think about it and be aware that the person driving behind the wheel is under the influence and they allow it. It's probably recklessness. Maybe many are the ones who have consumed alcohol the night before, wake up in the morning and think it's OK, but it's not OK. It may have been too much alcohol the night before," the police spokeswoman said.

Raids, or increased checks when every car on the road is stopped, will continue to be carried out by the State Police until and including January 2, so there's another week to go and police are repeating their appeal to the public to act responsibly or face stiff consequences. However, there seems to be little evidence that behavior is changing much – exactly one year ago LSM ran pretty much the same story.

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