Courts have ordered some 1,735 convicted drunk drivers to have an alcohol lock fitted to their cars to stop them getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking, free newspaper Metro reports on Monday.
Legislation enabling the courts to order alcohol locks came into effect in December. Officials had expected to fit 2,500 locking systems a year, Metro says.
However, only 208 locks have actually been fitted because drivers can appeal against the court decision. In addition it also takes around three months to install the system.
The new rules apply to people with a blood alcohol level of 1.3 or higher – equivalent to eight or 10 beers. The legal limit is 0.5, or 0.2 for drivers with less than five years’ experience.
Drivers have to blow into a small apparatus fitted to the dashboard to prove they have not been drinking before the engine will start. They will also be required to blow into it several times during the journey.
In addition, drunk drivers who are addicted to alcohol have to get specialist help. Those who refuse to have the lock fitted face being banned from driving for five years.
Some 200 people are killed on the Dutch roads every year in accidents involving alcohol.
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