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  • Lauri Beekmann

Sweden: Drunk driving and traffic offences


04.11.2022 - In 2021, around 23,000 drink-driving offences were reported to the police, a decrease of 10 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of 76,000 offences against the Traffic Offences Act were reported.


Traffic offences are offences regulated by the Traffic Offences Act. Of all reported traffic offences, the most numerous are driving under the influence and drink-driving offences. Together they accounted for 86% of reported traffic offences in 2021.


In 2021, 75,973 traffic offences were reported, representing a decrease of 8,465 (-10%) offences compared to 2020.


Drunk driving offences

In 2021, a total of 23 026 drink-driving offences were reported, representing a decrease of 2 559 offences (-10%) compared to 2020. Of these, driving under the influence of drugs only, so-called drug-driving, decreased by 1 947 offences (-12%) to 14 834 reported offences. Compared to 2012, the total number of reported drink-driving offences has decreased by 15%, while reported drug-driving offences have increased by 24%. The number of reported drink-driving offences is mainly the result of police investigation and intervention activities.


Reported traffic offences


The impact of pandemics

Since April 2020, Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) has carried out analyses of the monthly statistics on reported crimes. These show that the number of reported traffic offences has varied over the period, and there are no clear indications of an impact of the pandemic on the total number of reported traffic offences. However, the trend is different for different types of traffic offences. For some types of crime within the category there are trends that are probably partly related to the pandemic, although this pattern is not apparent for the category as a whole.


The pandemic is likely to have contributed to the decline in the number of reported drink-driving offences over the period and also in 2021. The trend in reported drink-driving offences should be interpreted in the light of an initial sharp reduction in general sobriety checks by the police until mid-October 2020. General checks have since been resumed, albeit with some restrictions. Despite this, the reduction in reported drink-driving offences in 2021 is also considered to be related to the pandemic. On the other hand, checks on driving under the influence of drugs have not changed as a result of the pandemic.


Source: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention

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