Driving under narcotics: the sanctions “probably reinforced” in July, announces Elisabeth Borne

Elisabeth Borne announced Sunday on Radio J that the penalties for driving under the influence of narcotics would be “probably reinforced” in July, after a series of accidents, including the death of a 6-year-old girl in Trappes, in the Yvelines. “I will convene an interministerial road safety committee in July and we will have to come back to the sanctions which must undoubtedly be reinforced for those who drive under the influence of narcotics”, declared the Prime Minister.

“We carried out 800,000 checks in 2022, we want to go to 1 million. We want to be very present to dissuade this kind of behavior and undoubtedly reinforce the sanctions”, insisted the head of government, who reacted in particular after the death of a girl on Tuesday, knocked down by a motorist who tested positive for cannabis.

Soon a crime of road homicide?

Elisabeth Borne recalled that the Ministers of Justice and of the Interior were “looking” at the possibility of creating an offense of road homicide knowing that currently the acts of drivers under the influence of drugs having caused the death of a person fall within the scope of “manslaughter”. “I hear that may shock,” she said. “There is a terminology issue,” she added, explaining that it was a “symbolic but important aspect”.

Could this offense be extended to driving under the influence of alcohol? “On very high blood alcohol levels, these are things that are being looked at,” she argued. The LR deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Pauget tabled a bill in early April to introduce this offense of road homicide. Its text plans to create “an intermediate sentence between manslaughter and voluntary homicide”.

700 deaths on the roads due to the consumption of narcotics

At the same time, the multi-starred chef Yannick Alléno, who lost his 24-year-old son knocked down by a drunk driver and under the influence of narcotics, instructed the academic Didier Rebut and the lawyer Pierre Cornut-Gentille, both eminent criminal lawyers, to work on the introduction of such an offense into the criminal code.

According to the National Interministerial Observatory for Road Safety, “drunken driving is the second cause of death on the roads, after speed”, and “in fatal accidents, 12% of drivers checked are positive for narcotics “. In 2022, more than 3,500 people died on French roads. Nearly 700 deaths are believed to be due to the consumption of narcotics.

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