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Police launch drink-driving crackdown

Finnish police on Wednesday joined a Europe-wide crackdown on drink-driving.

poliisilla alkometri kädessä
Image: Mikael Kokkola / Yle

Drink drivers face tightened police vigilance on Wednesday and over the coming weekend as traffic cops join an EU-wide effort to stop drivers getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Wednesday marks the seventh national 'sober driving' day.

"Summer is a time when people use more alcohol and other intoxicants," said Heikki Kallio of the National Police Board. "Unfortunately it's often forgotten that intoxicants and motoring don't mix. The consequences can be death and injury."

Accidents caused by drunk driving usually spike in the summer months and especially on weekend nights. Police are therefore focusing their stepped-up vigilance on those times.

Last year 17,646 drivers were caught drunk-driving, which was a reduction of 2.5 percent on the previous year. In 2016 one in four fatal accidents were caused by an intoxicated driver.

Instances of drivers getting caught using other intoxicants than alcohol have become much more common in recent years, especially among the young. Last year 54 percent of drivers aged 15-24 who were caught driving while intoxicated had used only alcohol. Some 39 percent had used only drugs while the remaining seven percent had used both.

That's up from the year before, when some 33 percent of young intoxicated drivers had used drugs and 6 percent both alcohol and drugs.

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