Drink driving figures fell in 2021
The number of drink drivers apprehended this year to date has fallen by 830 on the same time in 2020, to 5,861 cases. At the same time, more incidents involving e-scooters have been reported.
Varmo Rein, head of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) traffic monitoring center, told ERR that: "There have been 448 cases so far, where a drunk driver caused a road traffic accident. Last year there were 523. The year before last, there were 550; in 2018, 526. This is more or less the same magnitude, but yes, somewhat fewer this this year."
"Light traffic", meaning primarily e-scooters, has bucked the trend in accidents involving alcohol.
Rein said: "In other areas, the statistics showed a downward trend. Fewer pedestrians got less injured, and there were 56 fewer accidents with cyclists than last year. However, 228 accidents involved light traffic," noting that this represented an increase, and was often the result of drinking.
"These accidents mostly take place at night. After all, quantities found in a person's blood-stream when they are taken to hospital are still significant. Going home from the bar certainly should not be taken lightly."
Caution should be exercised in interpreting the statistics in general, Rein added.
"You certainly need to be concerned, when drunk drivers are in traffic, and it is always a danger," he said, adding that even though attitudes to drink driving have improved in recent years, this time of year often sees a surge in accidents.
Rein urged responsibility and setting up a designated driver, who will remain sober during festivities.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte