The number of fatal traffic accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs has risen sharply in recent years, according to police figures requested by the NOS. While 13 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2016, this number rose to 61 in the past year.
Actual numbers even higher
The actual numbers may be even higher, as substance use research is only done if the person who caused the accident survives. The exception to this are the years 2020 and 2021, which had less traffic due to the corona pandemic. According to Paul Broer of the National Police, the number of fatalities has increased every year since 2016, with a significant increase between 2019 and 2022.
In addition to an increase in the number of casualties, there is also an increase in the number of fatal accidents. In 2019, there were 38 fatal traffic accidents with a driver under the influence, while this number will rise to 51 in 2022. The number of fines and driving bans for driving under the influence increased by 34 percent, despite no longer being checked.
In 2022, approximately 43,000 people were fined for driving under the influence, of which 25,000 for alcohol and 18,000 for drugs, mainly cannabis. Neither the police nor SWOV has investigated why there is more driving under the influence.
Police checks and alcolock
Research shows that both police checks and the alcolock are effective in reducing drunk driving. Enforcement remains the most important means of addressing this problem. The alcolock was abolished in 2015, but Minister Harbers is currently investigating whether it can be reintroduced.