Widmark Award awarded to DRUID and former SWOV researcher René Mathijssen

Every three years, the ‘International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS)’ hands out awards to those individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution in the field of alcohol, drugs and road safety.  The Widmark Award is named after the Swedish Professor Erik M.P. Widmark, who developed a method to measure the blood alcohol level.

During the ICADTS Conference in Gramado (Brazil) in October of this year, the price was presented to both the European DRUID-project that was completed at the end of 2011, and two individual researchers within the DRUID-project: to Asbjorg Christophersen (Norway) and to former SWOV researcher René Mathijssen.

René Mathijssen received this prestigious award due to his excellent knowledge in the field of setting up epidemiological studies. Worldwide, he is seen as one of the most important experts. Mathijssen’s expertise is of great importance for the European research projects into driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs: IMMORTAL and DRUID.

Mathijssen has always been a strong advocate for the alcolock program in the Netherlands and the introduction of the lower alcohol limit for novice drivers. 

On 22 November, The Widmark Award was presented in Mathijssen’s place of residence Leiden in the presence of a number of ICADTS members. He received the award from the hands of prof. dr. Jan Ramaekers from Maastricht University who was recently elected president of ICADTS. In his acceptance speech stressed René that he owes much to the support and experience of his former colleagues SWOV-Piet Noordzij and Jan Mulder. Furthermore he called current SWOV-employee Sjoerd Houwing his help and support in the European projects in which he participated on behalf of SWOV.