Three quarters of people that admitted to driving after taking drugs, usually cannabis, in a poll said they had also mixed the drug taking with alcohol, according to AWSR, an ETSC member in Belgium.
Roughly 1 in 10 of those polled admitted to drink driving over the previous twelve months, twice as many as admitted taking drugs before driving.
AWSR was particularly concerned about the levels of ignorance of the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs. Almost half believed that taking cannabis did not degrade their driving skills. AWSR says young men that drive under the influence of drugs are six times more likely to crash. When mixed with alcohol the risks increase dramatically to up to 200 times the risk of those that drive sober. AWSR is calling for tougher sanctions for those that combine drink and drugs before driving, commensurate with the increased risk.
The Belgian government recently announced plans to double the fines for drink drivers from next year and to impose alcohol interlocks on the most serious first-time drink driving offenders (1.8 g/l BAC) and repeat offenders at a lower BAC level (1.2 g/l BAC).