Harsher Penalties For Drink Driving Offences

Traffic accident - Kyrenia Mountain Road

Sunday, 3 September 2023

Over 12,000 drivers have been cited for driving under the influence of alcohol since 2018, Yeniduzen reports.

During this time period, 54 people died and over 500 people were injured in around 1,500 accidents involving drunk drivers.

Although alcohol is only one of the factors that increase the risk of accidents in traffic, an average of 2,000 people are reported for drunk driving every year in the TRNC, and the alcohol level in the breath of some drivers reaches up to 300-400 percent, which is a serious state of drunkenness that causes deterioration in the person’s balance and coordination. 

There are 470,000 vehicles registered In North Cyprus, and fatal traffic accidents are always on the agenda of society and the state. Despite warnings, fines and losses, traffic accidents causing death and permanent disability have not decreased, leaving many families to endure endless suffering.

The General Directorate of Police, which has taken steps to increase the severity of penalties, has forwarded the legal regulation it prepared to the Ministry of Transport. The amendment stipulates that drivers whose breath alcohol is detected above a certain level will be referred to court instead of paying a fixed penalty.

General Directorate of Police (PGM) Traffic Manager İbrahim Ulusoy said fatal accidents mostly occur with alcohol levels above 100 milligrams.

He noted, however, that “it is not possible to prevent accidents only with police checks”.

Ulusoy recalled that someone who causes death due to carelessness and carelessness in traffic can be sentenced to a fine of up to 50 times the gross minimum wage, or to imprisonment for up to seven years, or to both. If the new proposed legal regulation is implemented, the penalty will be increased if this crime is committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He stated that it could be increased to 14 years imprisonment and a fine of 75 times the minimum wage.

Educating Young People

President of the Traffic Accident Prevention Association Dr. Mehmet Zeki Avcı, who has important studies on addictions such as alcohol and drugs said inter alia the following:

The rate of alcohol experimentation in primary schools was 20 percent. I know that the programme on smoking, alcohol and drugs, which we prepared between 1998 and 2000, has been taught in high schools since 2018, but I am not sure that it is taught effectively. There is no such programme in secondary schools, and even if there are no drugs in primary schools, there should be education on smoking and alcohol, and I see that this is also not given importance…

Yeniduzen

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