SWOV Catalogus


Driving under the influence of alcohol. [Formerly known as: Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.]
C 35207 [electronic version only] /83 / ITRD E208671

The Hague, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, 2018, Pp., 58 ref.; SWOV Fact sheet

Samenvatting In 2015, an estimated 12% - 23% of the road deaths in the Netherlands were due to drinking and driving, 75 to 140 fatalities. In 2017, 1.4% of the drivers were under the influence of alcohol during weekend nights. This percentage is much higher among cyclists: measurements in 2013 in the evening and at night (17:00-8:00 hours) in the entertainment areas of the cities The Hague and Groningen showed that on average 42% of the tested cyclists had used more alcohol than is legally allowed. About two-thirds of all severe alcohol-related crashes are caused by the relatively small group of serious alcohol offenders. Drivers under the influence of alcohol engage in more impulsive and more adventurous driving behaviour. Furthermore, they assess traffic situations less well, perceive dangers less timely, are less capable of reacting in time, show worse vehicle control and they are less vigilant. The risk of crash is about 1.4 times higher for a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.5‰ than for a sober driver. At a BAC of 1.0‰ the risk is nearly 4 times higher, more than 20 times higher at 1.5‰. Also for cyclists the risk of crashes gets higher with increasing BAC. Deterioration in driving behaviour is more noticeable in younger drivers. The BOB designated driver campaign seems to have contributed to a reduction in alcohol consumption, but the effects of this campaign cannot be separated from the intensified police enforcement of driving under the influence. Educational measures to prevent recurrence have no proven effect. Heavier punishments, suspension or revocation of the driving licence seem to have hardly any effect on the serious alcohol offenders. For this group new preventive measures need to be developed, focusing on a broader approach towards the problem underlying their alcohol offences.
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