20-day traffic check finds 182 drivers high on drugs

By Phuong Son   March 6, 2019 | 08:13 am GMT+7
20-day traffic check finds 182 drivers high on drugs
A driver breathes into a breathalyzer to check for alcohol and narcotics on an expressway in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Son

The traffic police department said Tuesday that a scattered 20-day inspection found 182 truck and minibus drivers high on narcotics.

The inspections were carried out on trucks and vehicles with more than eight seats on National Highway 1A and other expressways and roads nationwide from January 21 to 30 and from February 11 to 20.

‘Quick’ urine tests found 73 drivers tested positive for narcotics on National Highway 1A, nine on other expressways and 100 on other roads.

They collaborated with the Institute of Forensic Science to collect urine samples from drivers and the tests have 90 percent accuracy, police said.

Most of the drivers who tested positive for narcotics also admitted to have used them, said a traffic police department representative.

The 182 drivers would be suspended from work and have their licenses revoked for 22 to 24 months. Their vehicles would also be confiscated for a week.

The urine samples will be sealed and preserved for 20 days pending an appeal by drivers against the test results, following which they would be disposed of.

Several horrific accidents have happened of late involving drivers high on drugs or alcohol. In January, eight people walking along a highway in the northern province of Hai Duong were crashed and killed by a truck, whose 28-year-old driver was later found to have been high on meth.

That same month, four other people died and 16 were injured in the southern Long An Province after a truck slammed into motorbikes waiting at a traffic light. Tests found the 32-year-old truck driver were high on liquor and heroin.

Road crashes are a leading cause of deaths in Vietnam, killing almost one person every hour. More than 18,720 traffic accidents in 2018 killed 8,244 people and injured 14,800 others, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

 
 
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