What can I do if I disagree with the results of a breath analysis or blood test after driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol?

Were you pulled over and did the police suspect you of being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication? Then you must submit to a breath test and breath analysis in case they suspect alcohol is in play. In the event that they suspect drug use, you must submit to a saliva test and/or an examination of your external characteristics and a blood test. Do you disagree with the results of the breath test for alcohol or blood test for drugs and/or medication? In that case, you can have a counter-test done. You will have to arrange and pay for the test yourself.

Right to a counter-test

Did the breath analysis show that you consumed too much alcohol? Or did a blood test show that you used too great an amount of drugs and/or too much medication? Then you have the right to have a counter-test conducted.

  • For alcohol, the police will tell you this immediately after the results of the breath analysis. If you want to have a counter-test done, you must request it straight away.
  • If drugs and/or medication are involved, the police will inform you that you have the right to have a counter-test done when a blood sample is taken. The letter with the results of the test for drugs and/or medication will state the website where you can find information about the right to a counter-test.

If the police issue a driving ban, this document will also state the website where you can find information about the right to a counter-test.

Blood sample for counter-testing

Counter-tests always require a blood sample.

  • If testing is being done for drugs and/or medication or the combination with alcohol, the laboratory uses the second tube of blood collected during the blood test.
  • If only alcohol is concerned, then a blood sample will be taken as quickly as possible.

Laboratory requirements

You can determine yourself which laboratory will conduct the counter-test for drugs and/or alcohol. The laboratory must be accredited and have expertise in conducting bioanalyses as stipulated in the Alcohol, Drugs and Medicines (Road Traffic) Decree. 

Furthermore, there are requirements for the method used to conduct an initial or supplementary blood test. More information on this can be found in the Alcohol, Drugs and Medicines (Road Traffic) Regulations. 

Laboratories that are accredited, have expertise in conducting bioanalyses as stipulated in the Decree and work according to a validated and legally compliant method include the hospital pharmacy of the University Medical Center Groningen, Labor Mönchengladbach Dr. Stein & Kollegen in Mönchengladbach (Germany) and Eurofins Forensic Belgium in Bruges (Belgium) and the Maasstad Ziekenhuis in Rotterdam.

If a counter-test is to be conducted following the outcome of an earlier blood test conducted by the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), only the University Medical Center Groningen laboratory may do this. This is because the other laboratories have a contract with the NFI.

You will need to contact the laboratory of your choice yourself in order to verify whether it is able and willing to conduct a counter-test and to find out what the costs are. 

  • University Medical Center Groningen, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology department, Laboratory subdivision: +31 (0)50 361 4071. 
  • Labor Mönchengladbach Dr. Stein & Kollegen, Mönchengladbach (Germany): info@medlab-stein.nl; +49 (0)43 362 2225. 
  • Eurofins Forensic Belgium, Bruges (Belgium): forensics@eurofins.be; +32 (0)50 31 02 52.
  • Maasstad Ziekenhuis, Rotterdam: administratiemaasstadlab@maasstadziekenhuis.nl; + 31 (0)10 - 291 14 75.

Costs of a counter-test

You have to pay for the counter-test yourself. The laboratory will only conduct the counter-test once it has received the required payment from you. This includes the costs of:

  • taking the blood sample when alcohol is involved; you pay this amount directly to the police (you do not have to pay when the blood sample involves drugs and/or medication);
  • sending the tube of blood to the laboratory you choose to do the counter-test;
  • the blood analysis at the laboratory.

The actual costs for sending the tube of blood to the laboratory can be found in the Regulations on road users and alcohol, drugs and medication (in Dutch).

You yourself must select a laboratory which can do the counter-test and inquire what the costs are.

Within 2 weeks of notification of the results of the blood test, you will have to pay the laboratory you selected to conduct the counter-test. Your request to do a counter-test must include the following information: name, gender, date of birth, citizen service number (BSN) and evidence identification number (SIN: Sporenindentificatienummer). If drugs are involved, the laboratory you have selected will arrange with the laboratory that first conducted the blood test to have the blood sample sent to them, as soon as they have received your payment within the stipulated period.

You must bring along the results of the blood test to the court hearing yourself.

Refund of counter-testing costs

If the counter-test shows that you had an alcohol, drug and/or medication level under the legal limit, the court can determine that you will be refunded the costs of the counter-test. You cannot have these costs refunded if the laboratory that conducted the counter-test does not meet the requirements. You can claim a refund of the costs of the counter-test from the public prosecutor handling the case.