Data provided by the National Police Department reveal that alcohol-related traffic accidents constitute a great majority of traffic accidents in Turkey and that around 1 million drivers have had their licenses seized by the police for driving under the influence.
Traffic accidents claim the lives of thousands of people every year in Turkey. In 2011, 2,568 individuals were killed in traffic accidents caused mainly by drunk driving, reckless driving or speeding.
Data show the number of licenses seized increased by 134 percent over the last 11 years. While police seized 80,347 licenses for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2001, this number rose to 108,235 in 2011. According to figures provided by the National Police Department and the Gendarmerie General Command, 75,265 people had their driving licenses seized by police in 2002, 76,262 in 2003, 88,096 in 2004, 72,759 in 2005, 121,787 in 2009 and 139,884 in 2010.
Commenting to the Cihan news agency on the figures,
Green Crescent Society President Muharrem Balcı said these figures are striking as drunk driving leads to fatal results, adding that alcohol is one of the leading causes of not only traffic accidents but also rape and murder.
The National Police Department has also provided information on traffic tickets, according to which police issued 8,715,742 traffic tickets within the last 10 years. Furthermore, around 1.5 million drivers had their licenses suspended temporarily. Traffic police set up regular checkpoints at which they test drivers in order to prevent fatal traffic accidents.