Estonia, Legislation, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 30.05.2024, 23:25

Estonian courts sent 1,190 drunk drivers to prison in H1

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 25.07.2012.Print version
Estonian courts sent 1,190 drunk drivers to prison in the first half of the year 2012, LETA/Eesti Päevaeht writes.

While in the first half of last year, the police caught 3,029 drunk drivers, the number in the first half of this year was 3,336.


Justice Minister Kristen Michal said that there are three reasons why the number of drunk drivers grew: "First, alcohol consumption grows, last year's figures showed that. Second, the amount of dumbheads who sit behind the wheel while drunk has not decreased. Third, the police has started to work more effectively to remove drunk drivers from traffic," said Michal.


In six months, the police caught 1,689 people who were had high blood alcohol content (over 1.5 per mille) and 1,647 drivers with lower blood alcohol content while the number of the latter has increased by 12% in a year.


Justice ministry study indicates that out of the 1,689 drivers whose blood alcohol content was over 1.5 per mille, 76% (1,190) drivers received conditional or real prison sentences. The ministry was yet unable to say how many of them really had to go to prison. The incarceration period was mostly 4 months. At least 70 drivers received a prison sentence exceeding 1 year.


58% of drunk drivers were deprived of their drivers licence. However, some of the convicts never had a drivers licence or it had been withdrawn earlier. Generally the persons were deprived of their driver's licence for 3 months.


Around 400 seriously drunk drivers were ordered to pay a fine, usually up to 800 euros but the biggest fines reached 2,000–7,500 euros.


Drivers who had low blood alcohol level usually get a fine or their driver's licence is withdrawn. Every tenth of those end up in a detention facility.


In the first half of the year also 148 drivers with narcotics intoxication were detained.

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