Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 13:36
Youth drunk driving down 50 percent
The report "Driving under the influence in the Netherlands in 2002-20013" published today by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment shows that fewer motorists get behind the wheel after they have been drinking on weekends. The number of offenders has more than halved over the past twelve years. In 2002 4.8 percent of motorists were over the limit during alcohol controls, last year it was only 1.8 percent. More and more motorist don't drink at all if they have to drive. The percentage of drivers with no or very little alcohol in their system was 94.9 percent last year. The downward trend is remarkably strong among young men between the ages of 18 and 24. In 2008 5 percent of them were over the limit. Last year it was only 2.5 percent. According to the researchers, this is good news for all road users. Young drivers are especially dangerous while driving drunk. Based on a study done by the Foundation of Road Safety Research, this is due to their inexperience and the fact they react more intensely to alcohol than older drivers. There is also less alcohol involved in serious traffic accidents. Between 2011 and 2013 the estimated number of serious injuries related to alcohol consumption decreased from 25 percent to 19 percent. According to traffic investigator Sjoerd Houwing at the Foundation of Road Safety Research, there has been an unmistakable cultural change among drivers in the Netherlands in recent years. This is partly due to special enforcement teams that have since 1999 been trying to find drunk drivers and the introduction of the BOB campaign shortly thereafter. According to him the stricter rules for beginner drivers and the recently introduces alcohol lock also play a role.