Sixteen alcolocks were fitted in vehicles in 2015, to stop people driving when their blood alcohol levels are too high, revealed figures published by the Belgian Institute for Road Safety on Tuesday (IBSR). An alcolock is a breathalyser linked to the brakes which immobilises the car when blood alcohol levels are too high. The device is not mandatory in Belgium. One sole law introduced in 2010 allows judges to have them fitted in the vehicles of drivers convicted of drunk driving.
The expensive system is paid for by the person thus sentenced. “It costs 3,500 euros over three years,” explains Karin Genoe, Managing Director of IBSR, who points out that judges tend to be wary of this type of sentence, especially in view of the possible impact of such a system on the convicted person’s career.
Thirty people have been forced to accept the device in Belgium so far: twenty currently, and ten more in the past, who have now reached the end of their sentence. 16 of the 20 vehicles currently equipped with an alcolock were equipped in 2015.