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Seminar explores merits of self-test breathalysers

Thursday 27th February 2014

Hunter Abbott expertly fielded eight questions on subjects relating to self-test breathalysers and the drink drive limit in the latest Road Safety GB Academy online seminar.

The seminar took place earlier today (27 Feb) on the Academy website.

Hunter Abbott is managing director of Alcosense, which was established in 2007 and today it is one of the UK's leading providers of self-test breathalysers. Hunter claims that his company has "stopped more than 50% of its customers from unintentionally drink driving the morning after, saving countless lives in the process".

The first questioner, Gareth Tuffery from Southwark Council, asked whether the self-test breathalyzer helps to promote or prevent drink driving. In response, Hunter said that his product “gives the driver the tools to make an informed decision on when to get behind the wheel, rather than making a potentially fatal guess”. He added: “This is how we market our products and the vast majority of users use the product.”

In answer to a question on his views about the drink drive limit, he replied that in his view the current limit is “too high”.

In what Hunter described as an “interesting question’, Steve Ferris from Road Safety Analysis asked whether a legal change to the drink drive limit would be sufficient on its own to bring about a cultural change.

In his answer, Hunter said that lowering the limit from 0.8%BAC to 0.2%BAC – as has been done in Poland – would result in an “overnight cultural shift to not having a drink before driving”. However, lowering the limit to 0.5BAC may not be sufficient to achieve this.

Academy members can see all the questions and answers on the Academy website. A transcript of the seminar can be made available to non-members on request to Nick Rawlings.

FOOTNOTE: the next Academy seminar will be hosted by Professor Danny Dorling on Thursday 27 March, 12.30-1.30pm, on the subject of 20mph limits. Danny Dorling is Halford Mackinder Professor of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Recently, in a paper published by the British Academy, he suggested that introducing 20mph limits is the most effective thing a local authority can do to reduce health inequalities.

 

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