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Nearly 170 drunk or drugged drivers nabbed in Finland over weekend

Finnish police caught more than 19,000 intoxicated drivers last year - most commonly during the summer months.

File photo of police officer with a breathalyser kit. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

As Finland's summer holiday season gets started the number of intoxicated drivers on the road often rises, and this year doesn't appear to be an exception.

Police across the country carried out a heightened patrol for impaired drivers last weekend. The effort caught 136 drunk drivers and 32 others who were operating vehicles under the influence of drugs, police reported on Monday.

Additionally, last weekend's roadside breathalyser tests revealed that 821 drivers had alcohol in their systems, but below legally-permitted blood alcohol concentration levels (BAC) of 0.5 promille (mg per ml of blood).

Police said they caught significantly fewer intoxicated drivers last month during a similar heightened weekend-long patrol, with 65 drivers over the legal alcohol limit and 19 drivers who were under the influence of drugs.

Police inspector Heikki Ihalainen said an increase in impaired drivers on the roads is common during the summer.

He said that police will closely patrol areas and roadways around summer cottages in the runup to the Midsummer holiday, when many residents head out to the countryside for summertime celebrations.

Police carried out last weekend's heightened patrol from Thursday until Sunday.