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Police nab 78 for drunk driving in 24-hour crackdown

Police administered breathalyser tests to some 30,000 motorists across Finland in the country’s first 24-hour marathon traffic enforcement drive.

During the Christmas season in particular, some drivers seem to believe they can still hop behind the wheel even after they’ve had a few drinks, police said late Saturday after rounding up 78 motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Additionally, 25 of the drivers apprehended were suspected of aggravated drunk driving after law enforcement wrapped up a 24-hour traffic enforcement marathon aimed at curbing drunk driving.

According to the police, officers administered breathalyser tests to an estimated 30,000 drivers across the country. The National Police Board noted that the number of infractions was lower than during a similar campaign one month ago.

"What was positive was that there were significantly fewer cases of drunk driving than in November. We had a two-weekend enforcement campaign and caught fewer violators from the same number of people breathalysed. That’s a good sign. I don't know whether or not awareness campaigns have worked so that people are no longer driving while inebriated," said National Police Board Inspector Heikki Kallio.

Kallio said that police had piloted a new approach for the latest crackdown.

"In general, we have concentrated on enforcement during the evening and at night. This was the first time that we had a marathon, in other words, 24 hours [non-stop]. We will closely analyse this approach to see when we caught the highest number of drunk drivers and when we did the most breathalysers," he explained.