In the Netherlands in 2017, over 17,000 drivers were apprehended with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.8 or more and the Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) estimated that there were 75–140 fatalities on the road in 2015 as a consequence of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Dutch government has announced that it wants to adopt a much tougher approach to drink-driving in order to reduce the number of drink-drivers and the number of people killed or injured in road accidents as well. In a letter to the House of Representatives, Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, and Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen outlined the measures that they intend to implement.
Grapperhaus has formulated a legislative proposal to increase the maximum penalties for serious traffic offences, including driving under the influence. A consultation was to be held on this legislative proposal in March. In consultation with the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing Van Nieuwenhuizen will be lowering the limit for the fitness to drive test. For experienced drivers the limit is currently set at 1.8 per mille and this might be lowered to 1.3 per mille. For drivers who have previously been caught, the limit might be lowered from 1.3 per mille to 1.0 per mille. The lower the limit, the more likely it is that a driver’s licence will be revoked and the faster he will face a driving ban. The plan is currently being fleshed out and will be implemented this spring.