THERE was a sharp rise in drunkeness and violence this New Year’s Eve in the capital of Madrid, it has been revealed.

According to the emergency services, drunkenness was up by 86 per cent and there were 43 per cent more fights than last year.

The emergency lines didn’t stop ringing from the moment the clock at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol struck twelve.

Until 9am some 3,827 calls were received – the equivalent of seven per minute or one every eight and a half seconds – an eight per cent increase on the 3,542 calls dealt with on the same night last year.

Accoring to a spokesperson from the Madrid 112 emergency services the number of calls relating to alcohol intoxication increased from 181 to 338.

The number of fights and brawls that did not result in any serious injuries or anyone needing hospital treatment increased this New Year’s Eve from 266 to 382 compared with last year.

Traffic accidents also increased from 51 to 77 for the same period last year, although there were practically no serious injuries.

Specifically, the emergency call centre received 24 calls reporting dangerous driving, compared to the 11 received over the same period last year, most of them relating to excessive speed or jumping red lights.

In Andalucia two people died from road accidents on New Year’s Eve, one a 20-year-old in Aracena, the other a 38-year-old in Cuevas de Almanzora.

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