New Year's Day: One in ten drivers stopped in Tallinn drunk

Police at a sobriety checkpoint in Tallinn.
Police at a sobriety checkpoint in Tallinn. Source: (PPA)

Nearly one in ten drivers stopped at sobriety checkpoints in Tallinn on the morning of New Year's Day was discovered to have been drinking, including the drivers of vehicles carrying other passengers, according to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

"We all have the right and responsibility to stop drunk people from getting behind the wheel," North Prefecture operational manager Urmet Tambre said on Monday, adding that some people were also caught driving without a license.

"All of you getting behind the wheel after a night of partying, be sure that you are sober," he said. "Driving after having consumed alcohol is extremely irresponsible behavior which puts oneself as well as others in danger."

The New Year's holiday was a busy one for police in Estonia, but nonetheless did not involve any more serious incidents. The main sources of concern were issues involving and caused by the consumption of alcohol, including interpersonal conflicts.

"There were fights," described the police official. "We helped paramedics with drunk and aggressive people, and we also had to help victims of domestic violence. Nearly 60 people also woke up in the drunk tank in the wee hours of the new year."

According to Tambre, however, this year's New Year's holiday was more peaceful than the last, in terms of emergency calls.

"The number of [emergency] calls has decreased every year," he noted. "We can definitely say today that Estonians know how to party better all the time."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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