Drink-drive blood test to be abolished

10.18 | 25 March 2009 |

The government is abolishing the right of drivers who fail a breathalyser test to demand a blood test (The Guardian).

The DfT says that some drivers escape conviction because by the time a doctor is found the driver’s blood-alcohol level has fallen back within the legal limit. However, lawyers condemned the move, saying that breath-test technology is not infallible and innocent drivers would be wrongly convicted.

Jeanette Miller, president of the Association of Motor Offence Lawyers, says: "Breathalysers rely on human input and there are all sorts of things that can go wrong with them. It’s rare that we come across a case involving our clients when the reading has been taken correctly. There is a major problem with police training.”

A DfT spokeswoman explained: "If you are arrested at the roadside and taken in for the evidential [second] test, the police have to call a doctor out and that can take a couple of hours, during which time your level will have gone down because your body will have had time to process the alcohol."

Click here to read the full Guardian news report.


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