Startling statistics produced by the Madrid Municipal Police have revealed that during their campaigns to test for cyclists who have consumed alcohol, one in four tested positive.
Since 2010, a total of 659 alcohol tests have been performed on cyclists, from which 166 were found to have exceeded the allowed maximum rate. The tests were carried out for various reasons, 599 were carried out in checkpoints, 43 after the cyclist was involved in a traffic accident and 17 for committing some other type of offence on the road. During the period, 4 cyclists refused to carry out the test.
The most commonly reported case is that of young people who are returning home after a night of partying, in which they have consumed alcohol and they decide to cycle home rather than drive their car. Although they may well believe they are acting responsibly by doing so, a bicycle is still a vehicle and can still have fatal consequences if involved in a collision. That said, it is also reported that some of those young people caught used the bicycle knowing it was an offence, but thought it more likely they would avoid being stopped on a bike.
The Municipal Police of Madrid perform daily breath tests on people who drive in all types of vehicles, including the bicycles, and during the last seven years, 25% of the cyclists who have submitted to them have tested positive.
The controls are performed in shifts in the morning, afternoon and evening, and take place in all districts of the capital. In addition, they are all random, so they can stop any type of vehicle and under any circumstances.