Drunk driving accidents on the rise in Latvia

In the five months of this year, compared to the corresponding period last year, the number of accidents with drunk drivers increased, Juris Teteris, head of the Road Safety Directorate (CSDD) Qualification Department, told Latvian Radio June 20 .

There were 245 accidents with drunk drivers in five months last year, but this year the figure was 365. Teteris said that this increase was very large and significant.

The number of deaths in accidents with drunk drivers remained unchanged, both last year and this year there were three people in five months.

“It is time to remind the public of the consequences for both fellow people and the driver himself that can occur with driving under the influence of alcohol,” the CSDD spokesman said. The Midsummer (Jāņi) festival approaching this week is annually a big concern regarding the drunk driving issue, and police patrols on roads are usually enhanced.

In addition a public information campaign with a dedicated website is under way reminding drivers of the potential costs of transgression.

Considering the reasons for the negative trend, Teteris acknowledged that it is difficult to identify but that Covid-19 pandemic has had a toll on this.

Around 3,500 drivers are stripped of their licenses due to drunk driving each year – equivalent to nearly 10 every single day, as reported earlier by LSM.

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