More than 100 drunk drivers caught over Midsummer holidays in Latvia

Over the four days of this year's Midsummer holidays from June 23-26, more than 100 drivers were caught by police above the drink-drive limit, Arturs Smilga the head of the Traffic Monitoring and Coordination Bureau of the State Police (VP), told Latvian Radio June 27.

He said that full statistics on road accidents on the four holidays were still being compiled, but that data on the three holidays showed that 241 road accidents had been recorded during the period, injuring 68 people and killing one – a passenger in a car who died in Bauska region on Midsummer's Eve.

Over four days from June 23 to June 26 the police detained a total of 105 people who had been driving under the influence of alcohol during roadside checks. For comparison, last year 109 drinkers were caught over the period of five days. Last year, and again this year, two drivers were caught driving under the influence of drugs.

"The worrying trend is that most of these drinkers are still behind the wheel when heavily under the influence of alcohol - above 1.5 per milles," Smilga said.

"There were also cases when other family members, friends and acquaintances got into the vehicle driven by this drink driver and, despite him being heavily intoxicated, went with him," he said, suggesting that the general public should do more to discourage and prevent drink driving instead of tolerating it.

Most of those caught drunk behind the wheel were men between the ages of 31 and 50, Juris Jančevskis, the head of the State Police Traffic Safety Department, said in an interview with Latvian Television. According to him, several of the caught drinking drivers did not even have a driving license, and criminal proceedings were instituted in these cases.

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

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