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Number of drivers under the influence skyrockets | Car

In the first four months of this year, 13,567 people have been caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is according to police figures. The number is significantly higher than in the first quarter of last year, when there were 8421.

The police do not have an exact explanation for the increase, but they do see an increase in driving under the influence of drugs. Last year, for example, a total of 31,605 people were caught driving under the influence, of which just over a third had used narcotics. The proportion of drink drivers is declining relatively, but that is amply compensated by people who get into the car with a sniff or a pill.

It has only been since 2017 that intensive checks have been carried out on drug use behind the wheel. Before that, it was not an isolated criminal offence. With the availability of a saliva test, it is also faster to determine whether someone is under the influence. Paul Broer, who works with the police on driving under the influence, fears that the increase will continue throughout 2022. “Drugs often have a long effect. Not everyone realizes that. Taking something in the evening doesn’t mean you’ll be completely sober the next day. With all possible consequences in traffic.”


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If something was used in the evening, it does not mean that you will be completely sober the next day

Paul Broer

Most drivers caught under the influence in South Holland

In absolute terms, most drivers have been caught under the influence in South Holland in the past four months. Compared to the number of people with a driving license, Limburg and Groningen score high.

According to traffic psychologist Gerard Tertoolen, the rising figures can be related to increasing drug use in society, but also to the impression people have that they are less likely to be caught. “There is a great fear of alcohol checks, everyone is concerned about that. But drug tests have now become so good that the use of narcotics is easy to trace.”

Although the police are increasingly stopping people who use laughing gas while driving, this is not yet measurable because the gas is so volatile. We are working hard on a reliable measurement method. If it turns out after an accident that nitrous oxide may have played a role, for example because there are cartridges and balloons in the car, this can lead to more severe penalties.



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Number of drivers under the influence skyrockets | Car
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