SIXTY bus passengers in Benalmadena were delayed after their driver was stopped and removed by the Guardia Civil following a routine drugs check.
The vehicle was travelling from Hinojosa del Duque in Cordoba to Benalmadena when police boarded the bus and tested its driver for alcohol and narcotics, with the man testing positive for marijuana use.
After the driver was removed by police, the bus and its passengers were stuck until around 11am when another driver, who tested negative for drink and drugs, could take over.
Police roadside checks have recently been stepped up on journeys with coastal destinations in an effort to ensure drivers are complying with the law and reduce accidents. A spokesperson for the Guardia Civil’s traffic department explained, “The dangerousness of accidents involving vehicles that transport people as it is the case that concerns us, as well as the social alarm generated by such accidents, advise to prioritize control over this type of transport.”
The news comes after it was revealed almost half of drivers in Malaga stopped on suspicion of drug driving test positive for having narcotics in their system, according to figures released by the Spanish Government.
Minister for the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, has said the Government is now considering a series of measures to combat the rising problem. He explained one option being explored is referring drivers who commit two or more drink or drug offences in under two years to health professionals to determine whether they have an addiction problem before they regain their licence.
Police carried out 1,468 tests last year, 609 of which confirmed drug use, a total of 41.4%. The most commonly detected was cannabis at 60.92%, followed by cocaine at 24.46%, and then amphetamines at 6.36%, methamphetamines at 5.91% and opioids at 2.29%.
The figures also showed the number of tests carried out in recent years had grown significantly from 77 in 2012 and 2013 to 1,021 in 2014 and 2,318 in 2015. Conversely, breathalyser tests carried to measure alcohol levels have dropped from 205,511 in 2012 to 132,145 last year.