Random breath tests on the way?
* Current law is 40 years old * Consultation document to recommend change * Lower alcohol limit also possible...
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.