Drink driving risk set to heat up for summer

Could an increase in roadside breathalyser tests reduce fatalities?

Summer’s finally here and for most drivers that means winding down the windows, turning up the tunes and driving off to the coast with friends or family.

But it’s not all good news. The warmer weather also brings its own risks on the road – and experts are warning of the dangers of drink driving in the summer sunshine.

June sees the start of nationwide police crackdowns on drink-drivers, with the number of road-side breath tests expected to soar over the next month.

Second-busiest time of year for drink driving

June is the second-busiest month for road-side breath tests after December, with an average of 50% more tests carried out than during any other month.

In June 2017, police forces breathalysed 36,041 drivers in England and Wales, compared to an average 23,840 across the rest of the year (apart from December).

During last year’s drink driving initiative, a worrying 10% (3,275) of all motorists breathalysed were over the legal blood alcohol limit.

Drivers in Merseyside were the most likely to be tested during the 2018 clampdown, with 3,010 motorists breathalysed in the region ahead of Hampshire (2,532) and Thames Valley (2,265).

Social drinking causing problems the morning after

Hunter Abbot, Managing Director of AlcoSense Laboratories which makes breathalysers and home alcohol testers, called June a “drink driving hotspot.”

He said: “With warmer weather, sporting events and barbeques, June is a month when motorists are more likely to unintentionally drink drive the morning after socialising, posing a risk to themselves and other road users.”

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the drink driving limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. In Scotland, the limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Any motorist found driving while above the legal alcohol limit faces strict punishments which could include a fine, driving ban and even a lengthy prison sentence depending on the severity of offence.

For more information on the drink driving laws, read our ultimate guide to everything you need to know to stay safe behind the wheel.

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