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Netherlands: Stricter Law Enforcement Planned

(Mar. 28, 2011) In two separate moves reported on March 25, 2011, the Netherlands moved to crack down on offenses. Under a plan announced by Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten, the Dutch government would increase the maximum punishment for violent crimes committed under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In addition to the sentences imposed, judges would also be empowered under this proposal to order offenders to stop drinking or to stop going to certain places. One-third of violent crimes in the country involve the use of intoxicants. (Higher Sentences for Drugs and Drink-Related Crime, DUTCHNEWS.NL (Mar. 25, 2011).)

Separately, the public prosecutor has suggested switching to a points-based system for driving violations. Any accumulation of more than nine points would result in the loss of the driver's license. Under the proposal, a set number of points would be assigned for particular offenses. For example, seven points would be given for causing a serious accident, while going faster than the speed limit of 31 miles per hour in built-up areas area would earn the driver four points. (Public Prosecutor Calls for Automatic Driving Licence Loss, DUTCHNEWS.NL (Mar. 25, 2011); Driving Tips for Holland, ALL TRAVEL HOLLAND (last visited Mar. 25, 2011).)