Surge in drug checks on Belgian roads

The number checks targeting drugs carried out by Belgian police on the rounds has risen sharply over the past five years. The figure is up 134% on five years ago. Last year over 4,000 drivers were stopped and found to be drugs.

Driving while under the influence of cannabis, cocaine, XTC and heroine can get you a stiff penalty under Belgian law. Last year blood samples taken from 4,200 drivers were sent on to the lab for further investigation after the drivers tested positive as a result of a mouth swab.

Drivers who appear nervous or confused can expect to be asked to allow a mouth swab to be taken. Difficulties speaking, widened pupils or red eyes will also trigger a police officer's attention. A positive saliva sample will automatically result in a 12 month driving ban.
A positive saliva test will trigger the taking of a blood sample and laboratory testing. Results from a blood test can be used in court. The justice department is eager for the use of saliva test evidence also to be admissible in court as the procedure is simpler and doesn't require the presence of a doctor.

A positive test will result in your day in court. Driving under influence may lead to a fine and a 5-year-driving ban. Repeat offenders risk a higher fine and a life driving ban.

Cannabis is the most popular drug among Belgian drivers followed by cocaine, amphetamines and opiates.