Breathalyser tests in cases of violence

Police and law enforcement / Netherlands Forensic Institute

Breathalyser tests in cases of violence

Process evaluation of the Violent Offenders Alcohol and Drug Testing Act in start-up areas (full text only available in Dutch)


On 1 January 2017 the Violent Offenders Alcohol and Drug Testing Act (VOADTA) came into effect. This provides a legal basis for the deployment of substance tests for violent offenders and the use of the results of these in prosecution. Alcohol and drug use can be a reason for the imposition of special conditions, such as an alcohol ban, location ban and behavioural interventions focused on reducing alcohol and drug use. In addition, alcohol and drug use may count as an aggravating factor.
The law gives investigating officers the statutory authority to order somebody suspected of having committed a violent offence to collaborate in an investigation into the possible use of alcohol or drugs. This so-called drug test is to ascertain whether or not a suspect has committed a violent offence while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Although the act formally comes into effect on 1 January 2017, the VOADTA will be rolled out in phases. As of 1 January 2017 the VOADTA will be tested in three areas. The reason for not applying this new method everywhere at the same time was the consideration that the method might result in various queries with regard to implementation. In order not to burden the entire police organisation with these queries, the new method has been launched in just some teams, and alcohol alone is tested for in the start-up areas. In order to promote the national roll-out, the Ministry of Security and Justice requested a process evaluation of the initial experiences in these start-up areas.

Publication data

Abraham, M., Nauta, O., Roorda, W., Bloeme, R. (ass.)
DSP-groep, WODC
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