More than 2,000 ‘alcolocks’ fitted to Belgian vehicles in 10 years

More than 2,000 ‘alcolocks’ fitted to Belgian vehicles in 10 years
Credit: Rsheram/Wikimedia Commons

Over the last twelve years, 2,169 “alcolocks” have been fitted into Belgian vehicles, newspaper La Libre Belgique reports, citing information from FPS Mobility. Alcolocks are a form of breathalyser fitted into cars used to start the ignition.

To operate a vehicle with an alcolock installed, users must blow into the device and record a zero-reading in order for the vehicle to start. Since 2018, the devices have been increasingly demanded as part of the sanctions placed on drunk drivers and repeat offenders.

In 2019-202, there were more than 6,700 convictions which demanded the installation of these devices. However, the alcolocks are infamously expensive, and just a fraction of drivers chose to install the device.

“It is very expensive to install, around €2,500. It is a very high sum which leads many drivers to opt for the withdrawal of their licence,” says Vias, the Institute for Road Safety, which provides training for the devices.

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During a recent drink-driving police operation, conducted over three days at the start of August by the Brussels-Capital and Ixelles police zones, 16 drivers’ licences were revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol. In July, Brussels police revoked an additional 200 licences, 66 of which for drug-impaired driving.

A 2019 survey of 2,000 drivers suggests that around a quarter of Belgian drivers have driven while drunk in the past month. Belgians are some of the worst offenders in Europe when it comes to drink driving, Vias claims.

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