Number of breath tests at record low in 2018

13.10 | 29 October 2019 |

The Government has been accused of failing to tackle the ‘scourge’ of drink driving, after figures show the number of breath tests administered hit a record low in 2018.

According to the annual Police Powers and Procedures Report, 320,988 breath tests were carried out in England and Wales last year – a year-on-year fall of 2%.

The decline means the 2018 figure is the lowest number since the data was first compiled in 2002.  

The figures also show the number of positive breath tests reached its highest level since 2007 – up 1% to 15% in 2018.

AlcoSense Breathalysers says the Government is “not doing enough” to tackle drink driving – pointing to an FOI request which reveals Government spend on drink drive campaigns has reduced by three-quarters over the past decade. 

According to the FOI, total expenditure on the THINK! drink drive campaign in 2018/19 was £754,000 – compared with £3,157,000 in 2008/09. 

The latest Government figures show that 250 people were killed in road collision in 2017 where at least one motorist was over the drink drive limit – compared with 200 such deaths in 2015.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense, said: “Drink drive deaths have increased by 25% in two years, a result of lower investment in education and fewer breath tests by Police.

“Drink driving, whether unintentionally the ‘morning after’ or on the evening itself, ruins the lives of innocent victims as well as the drivers themselves. Motorists should test themselves to make sure they’re clear before getting behind the wheel. 

“The Government are not doing enough to tackle the scourge of drink driving.”



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