Elisabeth Borne announced this Sunday, May 28 on Radio J that the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs would be "undoubtedly strengthened" in July, after a series of accidents. "I will convene an interministerial committee on road safety in July and we will have to come back to the penalties that must probably be strengthened for those who drive under the influence of drugs," said the premier.
We have done 800,000 controls in 2022, we want to go to 1 million. We want to be very present to dissuade this kind of behavior and probably strengthen the sanctions, "insisted the head of government, who reacted in particular after the death of a girl Tuesday in Trappes in the Yvelines, knocked down by a motorist tested positive for cannabis.
Elisabeth Borne recalled that the Ministers of Justice and the Interior were "looking" at the possibility of creating a traffic homicide offense knowing that currently the acts of drivers under the influence of drugs that caused the death of a person fall under the scope of "manslaughter". "I hear that this may be shocking," she said. "There is an issue of terminology," she added, explaining that it was a "symbolic but important aspect". Could this offence be extended to driving under the influence of alcohol? "On very high blood alcohol levels, these are things that are being looked at," she said.
Proposals to strengthen sanctions
The LR deputy of Alpes-Maritimes Eric Pauget tabled in early April a bill to introduce this offense of road homicide. Its text provides for the creation of "an intermediate penalty between manslaughter and intentional homicide". 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 drugs, has instructed the academic Didier Rebut and the lawyer Pierre Cornut-Gentille, both eminent criminalists, to work on the introduction into the penal code of such an offense.
According to the National Interministerial Observatory of Road Safety, "drunk driving is the second leading cause of death on the roads, after speeding", and "in fatal accidents, 12% of drivers checked are positive for narcotics". In 2022, more than 3500 people died on French roads. Nearly 700 deaths are estimated to be due to drug use.