Drinking and Driving

Understand the blood alcohol laws in the Netherlands...

The Netherlands has strict drink driving laws, allowing only 220 micrograms per litre of exhaled breath or 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood. Drunk drivers are fined; the fee varies depending on the seriousness of the offence.

It is also illegal to allow a person to drive if they are over the limit.

  • Note: It is also technically illegal to ride a bicycle when over the limit, although this law is rarely enforced. Fines for being 'Drunk in Charge of a Bike' range up to €140

Drivers who cause death by driving under the influence of alcohol may be charged with up to six years in jail. Injuring someone while drunk behind the wheel of a car carries a prison sentence of up to three years.

Refusing to take a breathalyser test may incur penalties. Police have the authority to confiscate a vehicle if the driver is caught doing excessive speeds or driving while over the alcohol limit.

Note: If a driver has held their licence for under five years the alcohol blood limit is 88 micrograms per litre of exhaled breath, or 0.2 grams per litre of blood.