From June 1 to 7, Bulgarian traffic police will test motorists for alcohol, narcotic and psychotropic substances, as part of an annual EU-wide campaign.
Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said that statistics showed that consumption of alcohol or drugs before driving was one of three major causes of serious accidents on the roads of Europe, with a large number of victims.
Traffic police also will be checking whether motor vehicles have compulsory liability insurance.
The campaign is co-ordinated by European traffic police network TISPOL, and involves officers conducting alcohol and drug checks at any time of the day and night.
“Driving after consuming any alcohol is dangerous. Driving while over the drink drive limit is against the law. Drivers will experience slower reactions, poor judgment of speed, reduced co-ordination and concentration with much lower levels of alcohol in their system,” TISPOL president Aidan Reid said.
“That’s why our message this year remains simple: your ability to drive safely is impaired by even a small amount of alcohol. So if you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink,” he said.
Drivers can expect highly visible and widespread enforcement of alcohol and drug laws during the operation, at any location and at any time of day or night.
Reid said that it was also important to be aware of the continuing effects of alcohol the day after an evening of drinking.
“Your body takes time to remove alcohol from your system. If it is still present in your body, then it will be identified during a breath test. That’s why a night’s sleep is no guarantee that you’re safe and legal to drive the next morning,” he said.
“If you have used recreational drugs, then do not drive. If you are taking medicine, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter, then read the notes of advice that go with it. If these tell you not to drive after taking the medicine, then do not drive. The advice is there for a reason, to keep you and others safe.”
“If you are in any doubt about medicines and driving, then our advice is to consult a healthcare professional before you get behind the wheel,” Reid said.
(Photo: Zsuzsanna Kilian/sxc.hu)