Heavy drinkers are responsible for up to 95 road deaths a year, according to a new report from the SWOV institute for road safety research.
The government body claims two in three alcohol-related accidents are caused by a relatively small group of 90,000 to 125,000 hardened drink-driving offenders.
But, the report says: ‘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It said that since a special ‘alcolock’ treatment plan has been withdrawn, the government needs to find an effective and efficient alternative.
The Volkskrant reports that the special alcolock driving licence, which stated the driver was banned from drinking and driving and required them to take part in a two-year programme, was challenged in the courts.
It meant that drivers with this license could not then be prosecuted, as this would be considered ‘double punishment’. The plan had started in 2010 and it 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 estimated to be offending, only 7,500 people are arrested each year.
SWOV suggests finding a cheaper alternative to the old program, tailored counselling and treatment to help people overcome alcohol addiction.
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