Man, Spanish, 35 years old on average and a heavy consumer of alcohol. It is the profile of people who are in prison for reckless homicide with motor vehicles —that is, for having caused an accident with a fatal victim in a reckless or fortuitous manner at the wheel— that draws up a report of Penitentiary Institutions. The document has been prepared with the data collected in the proven facts of the convictions of the 53 people who were in prison for this crime in July 2021, which caused the death of 61 people and injuries in another 57. And it states, in addition to an exhaustive portrait of the homicidal driver, other relevant conclusions. Among them, the “great weight” that alcohol and drug use have in these incidents.
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The study details that two out of every three homicidal drivers were incapable of directing a vehicle at the precise moment in which the events were committed. for having ingested these substances. In 64.9% of the cases due to having drunk alcohol, in 13.5% due to the intake of narcotic drugs and in 16.2% due to the combination of both substances. On average, these people tripled the legal limit of allowed alcohol and practically 30% exceeded the rate of 1.93 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, which is almost four times the legal maximum allowed. “In these driving conditions, the vehicle is not a mobility instrument, but rather becomes a weapon against citizens, against drivers and their companions,” says the report.
The document confirms that the association between alcohol and drugs and nights, early mornings and weekends is also very high. Thus, these variables influence two out of every three cases of these homicides. According to the data collected, these are crimes mostly committed on weekends (67.9%) and also more frequent in the time interval that goes from nine at night to two in the morning and during the early hours of the day . Both are considered “critical moments.”
Regarding the dates, the summer, the bridges and the Christmas holidays are also considered by the investigators “periods of risk” for the commission of this crime, which takes place mainly in urban areas (streets, intersections, roundabouts …) and on highways. two-way traffic and not so much on highways and highways.
These data – and the fact that one in four prisoners for this cause is a repeat offender in crimes against road safety – leads the researchers to conclude that “in a not inconsiderable number of cases” there could be “a disguised addiction to alcohol” . The report was presented by the technical advisor Francisco Benito and by Miguel Ángel Vicente, general director of Penal Enforcement and Social Reintegration of Penitentiary Institutions, who highlighted that a significant percentage of these crimes would be preventable if society as a whole became aware of the danger that for your own life and for that of others you have to combine the consumption of alcohol and the consumption of drugs with driving. He reiterated, in this sense, that “the binomial alcohol and motor vehicle must be incompatible.” Vicente also insisted that the objective of reports like this is to focus on the causes and behaviors after the commission of the crime to reinforce the “therapeutic work” carried out with inmates in prisons.
Returning to the profile of this type of criminal, reckless homicide with motor vehicles is a crime committed mainly by men. In fact, only four of the 53 people imprisoned for this crime at the time of the report were women. 7.5%, which is in line with the weight of women in the prison population, which is 7.2% of the total. In relation to age, the average is 35.3 years and only one in four was over forty at the time of commission of the events. And as for nationality, it is a crime committed mainly by Spaniards. The foreign inmates object of the study represent 11.3%, being their countries of origin Poland, Ghana, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.
It is also a crime that is committed indistinctly in inland and coastal areas and in which the “human factor” is essential. Thus, the report reflects that the circumstances of the road were adequate in the vast majority of cases (92.5%), so they are not crimes attributable to the state of conservation of streets, two-way roads, highways and highways . “The human factor was fundamental, and recklessness and inattention to the road resulted in excessive speed, in the invasion of the opposite lane and, therefore, the loss of control of the vehicle, which caused the reach of other vehicles, or in the invasion of pedestrian crossings “, the document maintains.
Regarding the type of vehicles, 88.7% of homicides were caused by cars. 5.7% with machinery, 3.8% with trucks and 1.9% with motorcycles. And, in most cases – eight out of ten – the vehicle was insured, regardless of whether the person driving was the owner of the vehicle, a relative, friend or employee of a company.
Finally, the report focuses on the victims of these crimes and highlights that the occupants of the homicide’s vehicle “are not immune” to the danger that it generates, since one of every six deceased victims (15.7%) was an occupant of that vehicle. In addition, one in three people who died was a pedestrian (30%) and one in four was a motorist or one of their companions (25.5%). These 53 inmates who are serving time for reckless homicide at the wheel caused a total of 61 deaths and injuries in another 57. However, the victims are many more if other indirect victims are taken into account, among which are the relatives or relatives of both the deceased and the murderers. According to the report, there are a total of eleven victims for every two crimes.