New statistics show the number of motorists breathalysed by police officers in England and Wales fell to a record low in 2019.
Home Office data shows there were 302,281 breath tests undertaken in 2019 – an 11% fall compared with the previous year.
The 2019 figure is also the lowest since records began in 2002 – and 57% fewer than the 2009 peak of 698,688.
Meanwhile, 16% of breath tests administered in 2019 were positive or refused, the highest proportion since 2007.
Breathalyser firm AlcoSense attributes the figures to an 18% reduction in the number of dedicated roads policing officers in England and Wales between 2015 and 2019.
Alcosense is calling for testing to be stepped up – but warns without more traffic police, figures will continue to ‘spiral downwards’.
Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense, said: “With several studies showing people drinking more alcohol since Covid struck, roadside tests should now be stepped up.
“But without more traffic police, testing will continue to spiral downwards.
“The latest government figures show 8,860 people killed or injured on the roads due to drink driving. There’s a direct correlation between the increase in casualties and the decrease in law enforcement.
“If in any doubt, drivers should self-test to ensure they’re completely clear of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.”