TISPOL launches Alcohol and Drug policy paper and recommendations
The recommendations accompany the publication of the organisation's policy paper on alcohol and drug enforcement, the first of three documents to be published on core casualty reduction topic.
TISPOL recommends the following actions across every European country, in order to continue bringing down deaths and serious injuries in road collisions, where alcohol or drugs are a factor:
* A reduction of the blood alcohol limit to a maximum 0.5mg per ml (only the UK and Malta now have higher limits).
* Lower limits for professional drivers and newly qualified drivers
* Random testing for alcohol and drugs
* Zero tolerance for driving with any illicit drug present in the system
* Routine testing of every driver stopped by police or involved in a collision
'Driving with illicit drugs in the system is a global issue of increasing concern,' said chief superintendent Pasi Kemppainen, who chairs TISPOL's Alcohol and Drug Working Group.
'For example, a study of injured drivers in France showed that 14% also tested positive for cannabis. Drugs were also found in more than 40% of injured drivers in two groups tested in the Netherlands. Elsewhere, a survey of more than 500 high school students in Canada revealed that 19.7% admitted to driving within an hour of using cannabis. A shocking 27% of more than 3,400 drivers killed in road accidents in Australia had some form of drug in their body system. In 14% of cases it was cannabis.'
Mr Kemppainen expressed concern at the lack of consistency in enforcement across Europe.
'There is still too much variation between countries on the issue of enforcing drug driving legislation,' he said. 'Some countries have not faced the fact that there are far too many drug drivers on the road. Also, the methods by which different countries enforce drug driving legislation differ a lot. Some countries do not use screening tests at all, some are using urine or saliva.
He concluded: 'Enforcement of alcohol and drug legislation is one of the top three police priorities on the road in every European country, year-round. Offenders need to know that there is no safe time of the day or night to drive after drinking or using drugs. Our message can be put on one line: Drive sober, drive clean.'