MOTORISTS BEWARE: POLICE DOUBLE ROADSIDE BREATH TESTING IN JUNE

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June is the second busiest month for roadside breath testing after December

Recent figures show 108,592 tests were carried out by police in England and Wales in June, compared to an annual monthly average of 56,969

Motorists in some police force areas are up to 16 times more likely to be tested than those elsewhere

North Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Lancashire are the breath test hotspots

Motorists in Avon and Somerset and Leicestershire are the least likely to be roadside breath tested

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The number of breath tests carried out in June was almost twice that of the annual average and that trend looks set to continue.

 

New analysis1 from Direct Line car insurance shows that June has continually been one of the peak months for roadside breath testing since 2008. The most recent figures show that in June 2013, 108,592 tests were carried out by police in England and Wales compared to an annual average of just 56,969.

 

Whilst December remains the most popular month for roadside testing, there is also a clear peak in June as police target drink drivers in summer months.

 

Number of breath tests carried out by police in England and Wales

January – June 2013

 

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Source: Home Office

 

As barbeque season begins and the warmer temperatures encourage daytime drinking, Direct Line is urging motorists to avoid consuming alcohol drinking before driving where possible. If they do drink they should try and keep an eye on the alcohol content consumed. The alcohol levels in traditional summer beverages, such as Sangria or Pimms and lemonade, may vary significantly particularly when made at home.

 

Roadside breath testing also varies significantly by location, with motorists in some police force areas up to 16 times more likely to be tested than drivers elsewhere. North Wales is the breath testing hotspot, with 62 motorists in every 1000 tested. In contrast, drivers in Avon and Somerset are the least likely to be breath tested, with just four in every 1,000 tested. Across England and Wales as a whole, 12 in every 1000 drivers are tested at the roadside.

 

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, said “From barbecues to all day sporting fixtures, daytime drinking is a part of the British summer. But you can have a drink and have some fun without getting behind the wheel afterwards. Some summer drinks are easy to consume but difficult to measure. If you’re going to be doing something where the drinks are flowing, the best approach is to plan on getting home afterwards without having to drive.”

 

 

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

 

Graph: Number of breath tests carried out by police in England and Wales June vs annual average

 

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Source: Home Office

 

Table one: Top 10 police force areas for roadside breath testing in 2013

Police force area

Tests per 1,000 population2

Total tests

North Wales

62

43,178

Dyfed-Powys

52

26,628

Lancashire

28

40,991

Cumbria

25

12,381

Lincolnshire3

22

16,272

Suffolk

22

16,075

Norfolk

21

18,387

Wiltshire

18

12,515

Cambridgeshire

17

13,585

Merseyside

17

22,941

Source: Home Office

 

Table two: Bottom 10 police force areas for roadside breath testing in 2013

 

Police force area

Tests per 1,000 population2

Total tests

Avon and Somerset

4

6,380

Leicestershire

5

5,606

Derbyshire

6

5,735

Kent

6

9,919

Hertfordshire

6

7,226

West Yorkshire

7

14,747

Northumbria

7

9,467

Warwickshire

7

3,924

Bedfordshire

8

4,829

Gwent

9

5,046

Source: Home Office

 

1. Based on Home Office statistics for breath tests carried out by Police in England and Wales in 2013.

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