Cyclists lose driver's license after night out

In West Flanders, two cyclists had their driver's license suspended after testing positive at an alcohol road check. They were found drink driving on their bicycle and this is against the law in Belgium, although some are not aware of this due to the complicated Belgian legislation.
(archive picture)

Imagine: you're going to the pub with some friends and you expect to drink a couple of beers or glasses of wine. You leave the car at home and take the bicycle instead, because the late bus is too early for a night out. It's actually not a good idea, as cyclists can also be punished for drink driving (in this case 'drink riding').

West-Flemish police stopped two cyclists in the Roeselare-Izegem-Hooglede area last weekend. Both had too much to drink and had to hand in their driving license. One of them even has his license suspended for 14 days.

The local police chief Curd Neyrinck admits that this is not general knowledge: "Cyclists assume they can combine a beer and riding a bike on a night out, but they can't. Many are not aware of this."

It comes down to a combination of two Belgian laws: the first one (from 1968) is about alcohol and driving and the maximum alcohol level, while a second one (from 1975) states that cyclists are also considered as drivers. The government also has plans to reduce the maximum alcohol limit to 0.2 coming from 0.4, but only for youngsters. Considering the strong Belgian beers, you could test positive as from two ales.