Police carry out fewer breath tests
New figures published by the Home Office show that 10% fewer drivers were breathalysed by police in England and Wales in 2010 than in 2009.
The Home Office statistics reveal that police carried out 733,088 breath tests in 2010 compared to 814,207 in 2009.
The number of positive or refused tests in 2010 also decreased by 10%; from 93,232 in 2009 to 83,932 in 2010. 11% of all breath tests in 2010 were refused or gave a positive result, the same proportion as in the previous 12 months.
The statistics also highlight seasonal variations, with 20% of all breath tests in 2010 conducted during December as part of the annual Christmas drink-drive campaign.
The proportion of breath tests conducted in June (14% of total tests) was also higher than in other months. This is likely to be due to police campaigns against drink-driving during the summer months. However, the proportions of breath tests resulting in positive readings or refused during June (7%) and December (5%), were lower than in other months (13 to 16%).
Police conducted an average of 13 tests per 1,000 population, but variation in frequency of testing was high across forces. North Wales Police conducted 43 tests per 1,000 residents, while drivers in the West Midlands were subject to one test per 1,000 population.
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