Fatal drink-drive accidents up 30%, roadside breath tests down 15%
Friday, October 26, 2018
The annual Police Powers and Procedures Report, published on 25 October, shows that just 325,887 breath tests were carried out in 2017.
This is a fall of 15% over the previous year and the lowest number since the data has been collected.
“We’ve seen yet another significant decline in breath tests carried out by Police, as a direct result of the 24% reduction in traffic officers since 2012” comments Hunter Abbott, Managing Director of breathalyser firm AlcoSense.
“However, fatal road accidents involving illegal alcohol levels have risen by 30% year-on-year.
“Four per cent of drivers breathalysed after an accident are over the limit – the highest proportion in 10 years.
“But only 44% of drivers involved in a crash are actually being tested, compared with 56% ten years ago.
“The latest figures show that the drop in Police funding has directly resulted in an increase in drink drive offenders and reduction in road safety.
“We call on the Government to boost resources for better enforcement of drink drive laws,” added Mr Abbott, who is also an adviser to PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety).
Further analysis by AlcoSense of the Home Office figures shows big regional differences in the number of drivers failing the breath test (or refusing to give a sample).
In Cambridgeshire, 39% of drivers tested positive and in West Yorkshire it was 30%.
But in Cleveland the failure rate was just 6%. Dyfed-Powys in Wales was 7%, with both West Mercia and Hampshire at 8%.