Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Thirty-eight breaches of the Highway Code, convictions totaling 61 months in prison and three lifetime driving bans. Despite all of these, a Brussels driver has been pulled over and found to have more 1.8 milligrams of alcohol /1000ml of blood, in an uninsured car. On Monday, the man was sentenced, again, to a lifetime driving ban and a year and a half in prison without parole. According to several Dutch newspapers, on Tuesday, the individual has only ever spent four months behind bars to date, a situation the Police Court does not find amusing in the slightest. “Is there any point in delivering sentences if they are only ever partially executed?” rhetorically asks a judge from the Halle-Vilvoorde district after Monday’s hearing. “It is clearly very frustrating. This man says he has spent a mere few months in prison. It is not surprising that he, as well as other defendants, are under the impression that impunity prevails in Belgium.” Neither the prosecutor nor the judge can explain why the driver has got away with spending only four months behind bars.
The Touring association, defendor of drivers’ interests, is calling for future lifetime driving bans to be accompanied by the confiscation of the punished driver’s vehicle.