Nicolas Maeterlinck

A quarter of Belgian motorist admit to drink-driving

According to the results of an international survey carried out by the road safety institute VIAS, one in four Belgian motorists admit to having driven above the legal limit for alcohol during the past month.  This is twice the average for the other 31 European countries surveyed. The survey also found that not only motorists, but also a relatively high percentage cyclists and motorcyclists admitted to driving over the limit.   

Motorists in a total of 32 countries were surveyed. With 24% of drivers having admitted to have driven over the limit in the past month, Belgium scores not only much worse than the average for the 32 countries as a whole, but is actually the worst of all the countries survey when it comes to drinking and driving.           

The contrast with some of the other countries surveyed couldn’t be greater. In Hungary just 4% of motorists questioned admitted to driving over the limit. In Finland this was 4%, Poland 6% and 9% in Germany and The Netherlands. VIAS says that it clear that attitudes towards drinking and driving in Belgium need to change.

blijkt duidelijk dat onze mentaliteit ten opzichte van alcohol achter het stuur nog veel te laks is, zegt Vias. 

Drunken cyclists and motorcyclists

It’s not just car drivers that have no bones about going out on the roads while under the influence. Cyclists and motorcyclists also often ride their (motor)bikes while over the limit. This is especially true of cyclists. The survey also reveal that a relatively high percentage of Belgian motorists drive after having taken drugs or while using their smartphones.

VIAS says that in order to address the issue, the chance of being caught driving under the influence of drink and drugs or while using a mobile phone.  

Other measures that need to be taken according to VIAS include zero tolerance for motorists and motorcyclists that have just passed their tests and alternative, community service based sentences, to change offenders attitudes to driving under the influence in the long term.