A number of police forces in the Netherlands have revoked the licenses of cyclists who had drunk too much. They interpret the law differently from the prosecution. Which states that there must be a motor vehicle. However, police may impose a temporary driving ban of up to 24 hours.
By law, a driver’s license may only be revoked if there is a case of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. There is an exception to the rule, though. If the suspect has an alcohol history, the police do have the right to take the driver’s license. This is then done on the basis of recidivism.
However, the police may impose a driving ban on a drunk driver (including a cyclist), according to art 162 WVW. “This regulates that a driving ban may be imposed and then you are not allowed to drive any vehicle – including a bicycle. This prevents people from thinking that you are allowed to ride a bike drunk,” explained Chris Verstappen of Verjo Traffic Learning Resources.
After the driving ban ends, the drunk cyclist may simply get back behind the wheel. The driver’s license will not be introduced in the process.
By the way, the Public Prosecutor’s Office decides on any prompt return of a (wrongfully) confiscated driver’s license. The police have nothing to say about that.