Almost 6,000 people were caught driving with at least one part per thousand of alcohol in their blood over the past 12 months in Slovakia, according to statistics published by the police on Wednesday, November 21, one year after a law defining driving under the influence as a crime rather than a misdemeanour was adopted.
In cases when alcohol in the blood of a driver exceeds one part per thousand, police are entitled to seize the driver's licence immediately and take him or her to a police station. Offenders risk a prison sentence of up to one year. The law, which became effective in September 2011, also states that individuals caught driving above the limit who have already been convicted of drink-driving twice can face a lifetime driving ban. The same penalty is imposed on anybody who causes an accident involving fatalities while under the influence. Those who cause three traffic accidents within five years lose their driving licence and have to go back to driving school if they want to obtain a new one. People caught twice behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol or drugs can face the same punishment.
"It seems that, after a year, drivers still don't realise that they endanger not only themselves but also others when drinking and driving," said police presidium spokesperson Denisa Baloghová, as reported by the TASR newswire. When the ratio of alcohol in a driver’s blood is less than one part per thousand they can be fined €200-1,000. According to the statistics, 1,410 out of the total of 11,400 accidents reported in the first ten months after the act came into force involved alcohol.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
22. Nov 2012 at 10:00