By Humphrey Carter
OVER the next ten days, the Guardia Civil will be carrying out 1'000 road-side breath tests as a warning to drivers this Christmas and New Year.
The nationwide anti-drink driving crackdown, the toughest ever, was launched last night and spot checks are going to be carried out round the clock, not only at night.

Balearic governor general Ramon Socías said yesterday that, so far this year, 62.175 road-side checks have been carried out and 5.5 have tested positive, 2.2 percent above the national average hence why the police are launching a major crackdown this Christmas and this ten-day operation is a warning shot to drivers.

In order to carry out such a wide campaign, the Guardia civil will be using Local Police back-up at check points and throughout the campaign the Council of Majorca digital road signs will be flashing up warnings about drink driving.

Next weekend, as the campaign reaches its close, a minutes silence will be held at all first and second division football matches in memory of the victims of drunk drivers as part of “a goal for life” awareness campaign.

The primary of the campaign is to draw drivers' attention to the dangers of drinking and driving.
Socio said that the police not only want to drive home the fact that driving under the influence is a crime, but more importantly, a serious risk to people's lives, not only the drunk drivers, but fellow drivers and pedestrians.

The traffic police are already in the midst of a major crackdown on speeding and are using the very latest technology to catch fast and dangerous drivers and they hope that this massive anti-drink driving campaign will save some lives this Christmas.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been the cause of 14 percent of the 101 fatal traffic accidents in the Balearic this year Ramon Socios said yesterday.

124 people have lost their lives on the local roads this year and Socios reported yesterday that traffic police have confirmed that at least 14 of the fatal accidents involved drivers under the influence or either drugs or alcohol.

Socios added that 31 of the fatal accidents were caused by speeding, 34 for tiredness or failing to respect the highway code, six by dangerous over taking and four for failing to respect the right of pedestrians.

The Balearic governor general also announced yesterday that the new driving licence comes into force on January 28, the day the new point system similar to the one in the United Kingdom starts in Spain.

From next year, drivers will have points docked from their licence for traffic offences and face having their licence removed as Spain tries to reduce the rising death toll on the roads.


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