Lowest percentage ‘intoxicated’ drivers in winter Bob campaign

Most drivers (98.4%) tested for alcohol during the last winter campaign blew negative. That was the best result since the so-called ‘Bob’ campaigns began in 1995. For comparison, ten years ago, in 2013-2014, 3.2% of drivers were still positive, or twice as many as this year.

This winter’s Bob campaign started on Friday, December 1st, and lasted until Monday, January 29th. Almost 430,000 drivers (429,768) were subjected to a breath test during the eight weeks of the campaign. That’s about 7,700 on average per day.

More alcohol at night

In Belgium, the legal alcohol limit is 0.5‰. During the checks, it turned out that two in three of the positive drivers blew more than 0.8 ‰ of alcohol. Most drunk drivers were caught at night. For example, 1.1% of drivers tested during the day were positive, compared to 4.4% at night.

Statistics show that almost one in ten drivers test positive in an accident. The risk of an accident increases with the blood alcohol level. For example, a driver with a blood alcohol level between 0.5 and 0.8‰ is 2.5 times more likely to have an accident; between 0.8 and 1.2‰, the risk of an accident is 4.5 times higher than if you were sober.

Zero tolerance

Traffic safety institute Vias is happy with the campaign’s results, even though there is still a lot of work to convince all drivers not to drink and drive. Driving under the influence remains an important problem for road safety. In the first nine months of 2023, 3,027 crashes involving fatalities or injuries involved a driver under the influence of alcohol, i.e., almost one accident in ten (9%).

Vias, therefore, pleads for a zero tolerance of alcohol behind the wheel. The organization also demands a ban on being able to identify the exact locations of alcohol checks in real time by means of an application.

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