From 8th – 14th December 2014, The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) is holding a week-long campaign across Europe to raise awareness of the dangers of drink driving and drug driving. It will involve officers performing alcohol and drug checks during both the day and night.

Their message is simple: your ability to drive safely is reduced by even a small amount of alcohol. So if you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink.

During TISPOL’s similar operation last year, 1.1 million drivers were checked in 31 European countries. Officers reported 15,305 alcohol offences and 2,133 drug offences, as well as more than 2,500 other crimes.

The law

As The Highway Code says, the police can stop you at any time and ask to breathalyse you (take a ‘breath test’) if:

  • They think you’ve been drinking
  • You’ve committed a traffic offence
  • You’ve been involved in a road traffic accident.

If you refuse to take the test, or fail to supply a sample of breath and don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for doing so you can be arrested. A reasonable excuse could be a genuine physical or mental condition stopping you from giving a sample.

Results are immediate and if you fail, you’ll be taken to a police station and given a final breath test. If it’s positive, you’ll be charged.

If the officer thinks you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can also ask you to:

  • Take a drug test
  • Do a physical test (a ‘field impairment test’), e.g. walk in a straight line then turn around and walk back.

You can be arrested if you fail the test.

Did you know?

In France, you are required by law to carry a breathalyser in your car.¹

Check out our guide to driving abroad here.

Get involved:

  • Share your results and pictures using the hashtag #TISPOLdrinkdrive
  • Send your stories to


[symple_box color=”gray” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””] Find out more about the dangers of drink driving and drug driving.




TISPOL press release