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Road traffic offences

During 2015, approximately 26,100 offences of driving under the influence were reported to the police, which was a 1 per cent reduction as compared with the preceding year. In total, 80,000 offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act were reported.

Reported traffic offences

Reported offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act for driving without a licence (including aggravated), driving under the influence (including aggravated), leaving the scene¹, and driving under the influence of narcotics. Source: Reported offences

¹) From 2014, the police have registered leaving the scene of parking damage (Road Traffic Ordinance 1998:1276, Chapter 2, section 8, second paragraph, and Chapter 14, section 3, subsection 1a) under the offence code for leaving the scene of a traffic accident (Road Traffic Act 1951:649, section 5, first paragraph), notwithstanding that it was not intended for such purpose. Brå cannot determine the number of the registered offences which relate to each statutory provision. The change means that the number of reported offences of leaving the scene of an incident in 2014 and 2015 cannot be compared with previous periods. Without the offences of leaving the scene of an incident, the number of traffic offences would have been at the same level as the preceding year.

Reported offences

During 2015, 80,000 offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act were reported; this was a 3 per cent decrease as compared with the preceding year. The increase during 2014 can be explained by the fact that the police, primarily from 2014, have included the less serious offence (punishable by fine) of leaving the scene of parking damage in the offence code for the more serious offence of leaving the scene of a traffic accident. Less serious offences which are punishable by fine are normally not included in the statistic of reported offences and the change means that the number of traffic offences in 2014 cannot be compared with preceding years.

In 2015, a total of 26,100 offences of driving under the influence were reported; this was a reduction of 1 per cent reported offences as compared with the preceding year. Driving under the influence of narcotics increased by 5 per cent to 13,100 reported offences. Offences of driving under the influence have shown a downwards trend since 2008, whilst reported offences of driving under the influence of narcotics have increased.

Cleared road traffic offences

Person-based clearance rate² for offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act for driving without a licence (including aggravated), driving under the influence (including aggravated), leaving the scene, and driving under the influence of narcotics. Source: Processed offences


Processed offences

In 2015, 12,700 offences of driving under the influence of alcohol were processed¹ (including in combination with the influence of narcotics). Investigation was commenced for 98 per cent (12,400) of the processed offences, while 2 per cent (254 offences) were dismissed with no investigation.

Investigations were limited in 2 per cent (286 offences) of the processed offences of driving under the influence of alcohol, all following commencement of investigation. There was a person reasonably suspected of the offence for a full 97 per cent (12,300 offences) of the processed offences of driving under the influence. This is a consequence of the fact that this type of offence is one of the so-called surveillance and monitoring offences, where a perpetrator has more or less always been identified at the time of reporting.

Due to the fact that there is a suspect for a great number of the processed offences of driving under the influence, there are person-based clearances for a large number of the offences. The person-based clearance rate² for the processed offences of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2015 was 77 per cent.

The calculation of the person-based clearance rate for offences of driving under the influence of alcohol were affected by the changed definition of the metric in the 2014 statistic.

The conviction rate for offences of driving under the influence during 2015 was 81 per cent.

Persons suspected of road traffic offences

Number of persons suspected of offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act for driving without a licence (including aggravated), driving under the influence (including aggravated), leaving the scene, and driving under the influence of narcotics, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences


Persons suspected of offences

To a great extent, the trend for persons suspected of driving under the influence reflects police efforts in the area. There were 9,550 persons suspected of driving under the influence in 2015, which is a decline of 542 persons, or 5 per cent, as compared with the preceding year.

As compared with 2006, the number of persons suspected of this type of offence has declined by 4,340 persons, or 31 per cent.

Persons found guilty of offences of road traffic offences

Number of conviction decisions of offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act for driving without a licence (including aggravated), driving under the influence (including aggravated), leaving the scene, and driving under the influence of narcotics as the primary offence, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons found guilty of offences


Convictions

In 2015, there were 22,300 conviction decisions³ with offences under the Road Traffic Offences Act as the primary offence. The number of conviction decisions of driving without a license increased by 2%).

There were 8,180 conviction decisions of driving under the influence or aggravated driving under the influence (excluding driving under the influence of narcotics) as the primary offence. This is a 6 per cent reduction as compared with the preceding year. Over the last ten years, the number of conviction decisions of driving under the influence have declined by 3770 decisions, 0r 32 per cent as compared with 2006. 

As is the case with the reported criminality, the trend in the number of conviction decisions in respect of road traffic offences, for example driving under the influence, is largely a reflection of police efforts in the road traffic area.

New blood alcohol content limits

The blood alcohol content limits for driving under the influence and aggravated driving under the influence have changed over time. The limit for the normal level of driving under the influence is a blood alcohol content of 0.2 per mille. For such an offence, a person may be fined or imprisoned for not more than six months. The limit for aggravated driving under the influence is a blood alcohol content of 1.0 per mille, and the sanction is up to two years imprisonment.

On 1 June 2010, the rules for boating under the influence were tightened for certain types of boats. The lower blood alcohol content limit is now 0.2 per mille for boating under the influence and 1.0 per mille for aggravated boating under the influence, i.e. the same limits as for road traffic. The new rules only apply to boats which are longer than 10 metres or faster than 15 knots.  

¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.

²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.

  • The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences.
  • The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.

³) The statistic regarding persons found guilty of offences reports the number of convictions which were issued during the year. "Conviction decision" means a conviction in a district court or decision of a public prosecutor, such as a summary sanction order or waiver of prosecution, during one calendar year. A single individual may be found guilty of an offence in different ways and on several occasions during one year. A conviction decision may contain decisions regarding several offences and several sanctions.

Facts

  • 80,000 road traffic offences were reported to the police (2015)
  • 26,100 offences of driving under the influence (including influence of narcotics) were reported to the police (2015)
  • 13,100 of the reports related to the driving under the influence of drugs (2015)
  • 8,180 persons were convicted of driving under the influence (2015)
  • 89 per cent of those suspected of driving under the influence were male (2015)
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