Christmas approaches and November is the time to celebrate the popular little Chrismas parties (pikkujoulu) with friends and work colleagues. But if you intend to participate on those informal celebrations that anticipate the most endearing time of the year you must be careful. Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination, which may have disastrous consequences for people's safety and also for your pocket.
The Finnish National Police Board announced in a press release that will engage in an intensive surveillance of pre-Christmas traffic on the two final weekends of November (16-18 November and 23-25 November), based on the theme ‘Sober in pre-Christmas traffic’.
During the surveillance period, the police will organise breathalyser patrols during the evenings and nights in particular. The driving condition of motorists may also be checked in morning traffic on Saturdays and Sundays.
“When leaving for a restaurant or other Christmas party venue, you should leave your car behind and use for instance public transport, if you intend to celebrate with alcohol. It is also important for pedestrians to wear one or more reflectors on outer clothing to ensure safety when moving around in the dark”, points out Chief Superintendent Timo Ajaste of the National Police Board.
According to the numbers provided by the Finnish Police, in the first stage of this campaign on 19.11.2018 there were 134 drivers who were suspected of drunk driving during the Christmas party supervision.
In addition to surveillance of drunk driving, the police will also oversee public order and safety particularly in the vicinity of licensed premises.
“Visible surveillance near restaurants and bars also prevents drunk driving,” Ajaste commented.
From January to September this year, 398 people died or were injured in drunk driving accidents. In recent years, November has been the darkest month of the year with respect to serious drunk driving accidents.