Cars to have connection for alcohol lock from next year


From next July all newly registered cars in the Netherlands will have to have a connection for a device to stop cars from starting if the driver has been drinking, the AD reported on Tuesday.

The device, which currently retails at €1,500 to €2,000, functions as a breathalyser and if it detects the driver has been drinking too much, stops the car from starting.

The alcohol interlock has been proven to be effective, traffic safety researchers SWOV said. “It leads to fewer people re-offending than taking away their driver’s licence,” a spokesman told the paper.

It is not clear when and if having an actual alcohol lock will become mandatory in the Netherlands, but the requirement to have a connection is part of EU law.

Politicians have discussed the idea since 2018 but nothing has happened since because of its high cost and because the system, according to some experts, is open to fraud.

According to police figures, the number of fines issued for driving under influence of alcohol or drugs rose to a total of 43,000 in 2022, up 37% compared to the year before. An average of 75 to 140 people die each year in alcohol-related accidents in the Netherlands, SWOV figures show.

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