Alcohol and Drugs: enemies of the road


The alcohol

Alcohol represents different risks for motorists. Indeed, its effects on the body, when consumed in quantity, increase the risk of causing an accident. The figures also show that accidents involving blood alcohol levels are generally more serious than the others.

From 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, the driver no longer has all of his faculties. His visual field narrows and alertness and resistance to fatigue diminish. In addition, alcohol causes a change in the perception of distances, reliefs and depth. The coordination of movements can also suffer from too high blood alcohol levels. Finally, the disinhibiting effect can be the cause of inconsiderate risk-taking by the motorist.


Drug use has significant effects on driver behavior. Indeed, this causes a loss of reflexes and therefore increases the risk of causing a fatal accident.

Narcotics each have characteristics that do not have the same consequences on the body. For example, cannabis causes:

a decrease in vigilance,
a decrease in reflexes,
decreased hearing and vision.

On the other hand, cocaine will rather have the effect of a rather aggressive driving and errors in judgment and attention which can lead to a loss of control of the vehicle.

In addition, drug use is often associated with alcohol, which exponentially increases the risk of causing a fatal accident.The law establishes that it is forbidden to drive with an alcohol level higher than 0.5 grams per liter of blood. For young drivers who still only hold a probationary license, the limit is 0.2 grams per liter of blood.

The checks are carried out by the police using a breathalyzer which measures the quantity of alcohol present per liter of exhaled air. The limitation is 0.25 milligrams per liter of exhaled air, which corresponds to 0.5 grams per liter of blood. A blood test can also be done as a second step.

It is established that a glass of alcohol on average increases the alcohol level to 0.25g / L depending on the physical characteristics of the person, his state of fatigue, his smoking etc.

When a control is carried out and the person has an alcohol level greater than 0.5g / L, the latter incurs a suspension or cancellation of the license for three years, a withdrawal of six points on the driver’s license and a fine. of 135 euros. Finally, when the control shows a blood alcohol level of 0.8g / L, the offender risks a withdrawal of six points on his license, a suspension or cancellation of his license, a fine of 4,500 euros, and a prison sentence of two years.


During a police check, a saliva test may be performed to detect the presence of drugs. This check is carried out systematically during a fatal accident but can also take place during a preventive check. The test is considered positive when the apprehended person refuses to submit to the test.

A positive test leads to a withdrawal of six points on the driving license. When excessive alcohol consumption is observed at the same time, the penalty is increased by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 9,000 euros.

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