Press release - 224(2010)

Drugged driving can kill: a new Pompidou Group television spot

Strasbourg, 18.03.2010 – The Council of Europe Pompidou Group – a Partial Agreement whose core mission is to develop effective and evidence-based drug policies – has just launched a dramatic 30-second television spot on a young woman in hospital after a drug-induced car accident.

According to surveys conducted over the last years in Pompidou Group member States and to information published by the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction), many accidents and deaths on European roads are caused by drivers whose performance is impaired by a psychoactive substance.

In Poland, for instance, a recent study found that even more people drive under the influence of illegal narcotics than alcohol. In the United States, drugged driving has become such a major issue that American officials have called for a dedicated meeting during the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations.

The Pompidou Group invites broadcasters to air the 30-second spot as a public service announcement to call attention to a problem for which there are still few clear statistics – but a growing problem sadly illustrated by stories such as the one portrayed in the spot.

The launching of the spot – introduced in a short video interview with Pompidou Group Executive Secretary Patrick Penninckx – marks 30 years of close European cooperation within the Pompidou Group. In 1980  the Group, created by former French President Pompidou, was incorporated into the institutional framework of the Council of Europe and comprises 35 member states.

Note for Editors

Over the last 30 years the Pompidou Group has provided a unique forum of open discussion beyond ideological or political constraints. It has also created and provided tools that have enabled decision makers and policy managers to implement policies that have helped to counteract trafficking, abuse of illicit drugs.

The Pompidou Group’s contribution to monitoring of trans-national drug abuse is now extended to non European countries of the Mediterranean. It has among others developed school based life-skills training, enhanced cooperation in controlling drug trafficking in civil aviation and promoted treatment as an alternative to prison. It has also helped reduce drug-related HIV/AIDS infections due to seringues exchange and drug–related crime and has set up recommendations on drug screening.

More information on the Pompidou Group

Contact information: Carla Sabeva, Council of Europe Campaigns: and +33 / 388 41 34 61

The 30-second video spot in professional format is availble upon request for broadcasting as from 26 March. It may also be delivered in other formats.

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11