Crevits calls for lower drink-driving limit

Summary

Flanders’ mobility minister would like to lower the drink-driving limit in Belgium to 0.2mg alcohol per 1,000 millilitres

The Flemish mobility minster wants to reduce the blood alcohol limit for driving from 0.5ml to 0.2ml, lower than most of Europe

Federal mobility minister is against any change

Flanders mobility minister Hilde Crevits wants to begin talks on lowering the drink-driving limit in Belgium from 0.5 mg to 0.2mg alcohol per 1,000 millilitres. “Alcohol plays a role in one in three accidents,” said a spokesperson for the minister. “Too many people refuse to respect the current limit, so we have to do something about that.”

The alcohol limit in Belgium is the same as in neighbouring countries such as France, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. It is generally accepted that this represents two glasses of wine or beer. The lower limit of 0.2 is enforced in Sweden and Norway, while the UK and Luxembourg allow a higher limit of 0.8 mg.

The proposed lower limit is part of the new Flanders Mobility Plan that is currently being discussed. The Belgian Institute for Road Safety believes that a lower alcohol limit would have a significant impact on road accidents. According to a survey of 570,000 police accident reports in the United States carried out by the journal Injury Prevention, drivers with 0.1 mg of alcohol in their blood were 46% more at risk of causing an accident than drivers who were not under the influence of any alcohol.

The decision to change the limit requires the agreement of the federal mobility minister Melchior Wathelet. But he is not in favour of a lower limit, a spokesperson said. “The recent implementation of higher fines combined with drink-driving campaigns is more effective,” he said.

Flanders’ mobility minister wants to lower drink-driving limit in Belgium.

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