Latest figures from the Police Powers And Procedures Report For England and Wales has shown how police have carried out the least number of road side breath tests since 2002. The latest figure of 321,000 breath tests is from 2018 and itself is slightly lower than the comparable figure of 326,000 from 2017.
However, the latest figures show a massive drop when compared with 670,000 road side breath tests in 2009, that number being the largest since the Home Office ban collecting such data.
Furthermore, the amount of drivers refusing to take a breath test has risen from 11% in 2007 to 15% in 2018.
Publication of this data comes shortly after figures produced following a Freedom of Information request by Alcosense showing how government spending on drink driving campaigns had been cut by 75% over the past decade. In 2008/9 some £3.16 million was spent when compared with £754,000 in 2018/19.
This can then be put into content with recent Department for Transport figures showing how deaths caused by drink driving had risen from 200 (2015) to 250 (2017).
Similarly, over that same period the number of serious casualties in road traffic accidents where one or more of the driver had been over the drink driving limit had risen by 18%.
Alcosense’s managing director, Hunter Abbott, said the reduction in spending on campaigns and the cut in breath tests were to blame for increasing numbers of deaths caused by drunk drivers.
“Drink drive deaths have increased by 25 percent in two years, a result of lower investment in education and fewer breath tests by police,” he said. “Drink driving, whether unintentionally the ‘morning after’ or on the evening itself, ruins the lives of innocent victims as well as the drivers themselves. The government is not doing enough to tackle the scourge of drink driving.”
A government spokesperson said: “Drink driving is absolutely deplorable, which is why there are tough penalties and rigorous enforcement in place for those who do this. We are working with industry to develop new evidential roadside breath tests, meaning drink drivers do not have the chance to sober up before being tested.
“On top of this, our award-winning THINK! campaign tackles the behaviours and social norms behind drink driving, with activity increasingly targeted where it can have the most impact – particularly among young male drivers who are over-represented in collisions.”
About Carl Millar
Carl Millar is a highly respected and experienced drink driving solicitor who is the principal of Millars Solicitors.
Carl has been a specialist in road traffic law for many years and represents clients from all walks of life and all over the Country. He is well known for the dogged defending of his clients and robust cross examination of police officers and exert witnesses.
With a wealth of expertise in motoring law Carl is well placed to provide advice over the phone and deal with all road traffic matters in a calm and professional way.
Getting in contact with Carl and Millars Solicitors is really easy. You can call him FREE on 0800 999 5535 or in an emergency you can call on 07732 054827.