German Polizei to increase traffic controls during Fasching

Laughing, singing, dancing and some beer or champagne — that’s what people combine during Fasching activities.

Even those who usually don’t drink easily get encouraged or pressured to have a drink, said German police officials. Because of this, officials recommend visitors leave their vehicles at home. Reaching for the car keys, just to drive home, can have fatal consequences.

Westpfalz Polizei is prepared for the crazy Fasching season, which continues until Feb. 13. They will increase their number of traffic controls and drunken driving checks.

According to the Westpfalz Police Headquarters in Kaiserslautern, during last year’s Fasching season, many alcohol-related traffic accidents occurred between Old Women’s Fasching (Feb. 16) and Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22). One person was seriously injured and 35 motorists lost their driver’s license due to alcohol.

Police officers will request a breathalyzer test if they become suspicious of the driver’s way of driving or attitude. If the suspect refuses the test, Polizei can take the suspect to have blood taken. The suspect has to pay about €70 out of his pocket, if the test is positive.

When the blood alcohol level or the breathalyzer concentration is over the limit, the motorist’s drive ends.

Depending on the level, consequences can be a fine, withdrawal of the driver’s license and a possible lawsuit.

Police officials recommend motorists who drink at Fasching events either take a taxi or public transportation.

Also, remains of alcohol stay in the body until the following day. Therefore, even the morning after Fasching activities, people should not drive their vehicles.
Motorists are not authorized to drive with a face mask because their visibility and hearing can be impaired. If German Polizei stops a driver with a face mask on, they can charge a fine. If the disguise results in an accident, consequences might be worse. Insurance agencies  might not pay due to gross negligence.

(Courtesy of Westpfalz Police Headquarters Kaiserslautern)