Random breath tests on the way?

* Current law is 40 years old * Consultation document to recommend change * Lower alcohol limit also possible...

Author Avatar
Jim Holder
22 Jan 2008 14:27 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

The biggest shake-up in drink-drive laws for more than 40 years could lead to the introduction of random breath-testing.

The Government is expected to introduce a raft of consultation documents aimed at reducing road accidents in the next few weeks, with random breath-testing being the most controversial proposal.

At present, police can only carry out a breath test if a motorist has been driving erratically, been involved in an accident or has committed another offence while driving.

MPs have been persuaded to consider changes to the 40-year-old law after Christmas drink-driving statistics showed that a 6% increase in the number of breath tests led to a sharp fall in the number of convictions, from 9700 in 2006 to 7800 last year.

A change in the law would allow the police to carry out breath tests at any time, including by setting up random checkpoints at the roadside.

A further consultation document is expected to recommend lowering the legal drink-driving limit from 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrammes.