French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Sunday that he was studying a series of measures to reduce driving under the influence of narcotics, in particular by removing the 12 points from the driving license of those who take the wheel after taking drugs.
In an interview published by the Journal du Dimanche, Darmanin adds that he will also propose that regular drug users not be allowed to drive until they receive medical clearance, as well as to declare the deaths caused by a drugged driver “traffic homicide”, which could increase the penalties imposed.
The interior minister’s proposal has as its backdrop the recent accident on the 10th of the famous humorist Pierre Palmade, accused of manslaughter and involuntary injuries for having caused a road accident after consuming cocaine and synthetic drugs.
Darmanin recalls that before this accident, the government had already doubled road checks to detect drug use among drivers, up to 800,000 in 2022, which will reach one million this year.
“It’s something necessary. 16% of controls for drug use while driving gave positive results, compared to 3% of those for alcohol”, he underlines.
Currently, French regulations only establish the withdrawal of a driving license for the use of narcotics when it comes to cases of recidivism.
“No product should be taken that alters the ability to drive,” insists Darmanin, who recalls that the concept of cocaine as a “recreational drug” is false.
In Palmade’s accident, the vehicle he was driving entered the oncoming lane and collided head-on with another car. Her driver is still in a coma, her six-year-old son was seriously injured and her sister-in-law, six months pregnant, suffered very serious injuries and lost the baby she was carrying.
The 54-year-old comedian has repeatedly acknowledged his long-term cocaine addiction and the problems it has caused him.