Drunk drivers continue to cause havoc despite sanctions

A new report from the institute for road safety research (SWOV) said heavy drinkers are responsible for up to 95 road deaths a year.

According to the government body, two in three alcohol-related accidents are caused by a relatively small group of 90,000 to 125,000 hardened drink-driving offenders.

SWOV: ‘Traditional measures such as confiscating licenses appear to have little or no effect on this group. In many cases, these offenders just keep driving without a license.’

It said that since a special ‘alcolock’ treatment plan has been withdrawn, the government needs to find an effective and efficient alternative to deal with the menace.

The Volkskrant also reported that the special alcolock driving licence, stating the driver was banned from drinking and driving, requiring them to take part in a two-year alcohol related programme was challenged in the courts. With the challenge, no drunk driver with this licence can be prosecuted as it would be considered ‘double punishment’.

The plan which started in 2010 stopped this year.

The annual cost of road accidents in the Netherlands is estimated at €12.5 billion, and up to €1.8 billion of this is attributed to heavy drink-drivers. Despite the high numbers of estimated offenders, only 7,500 people are arrested each year.