Drink driving – how motorists are falling foul of 'morning after' offences
A drink driving conviction could have a personal cost of up to £50k
About 5500 people fail breath tests between 6am along with midday every year as motorists underestimate the perils of driving the morning after several drinks
Drink driving awareness comes to the fore around Christmas along with brand-new Year, yet while the overall number of deaths by drink driving is actually decreasing, the proportion of motorists getting caught for being over the limit the morning after a festive party is actually on the rise.
Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show that will ‘morning after’ offences accounted for 13.82% of all drink-driving offences 10 years ago, yet that will amount has currently exceeded 20%.
The figures suggest that will some of the basic warnings concerning drink driving aren’t always being heeded. “People think that will going to bed is actually the same as pressing a reset button,” explains Hunter Abbott, managing director of breathalyser maker Alcosense.
Research by the Think! anti-drink-driving campaign supports that will. the idea reports that will around 5500 people are failing breath tests between 6am along with midday every year.
The brand-new figures show that will 58% of people who have four or more drinks on a night out sometimes drive the following morning, yet only one-third of people are aware that will they could still be over the limit.
One of the challenges facing motorists is actually the fact that will alcohol affects different people in different ways.
“several factors can dictate the effect of alcohol along with the speed at which your Centeng can absorb the idea, including your weight, gender, the type of alcoholic drink you’ve consumed along with whether you’ve eaten beforehand,” says Abbott. “If you drink on an empty stomach, your Centeng treats alcohol just like water along with draws the idea straight into the bloodstream.”
As a general rule, one unit of alcohol can be broken down by a healthy person’s liver each hour, yet that will is actually highly dependent on physical make-up along with metabolism. Additionally, the level of alcohol inside bloodstream can continue to raise for up to 0 minutes after the last drink, a factor that will can leave some drivers assuming they feel capable of driving when they are in fact over the limit.
England’s drink drive limit is actually 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, yet in December 2014 Scotland’s limit was lowered to 0.22 microgrammes.
Data by local along with regional police forces suggests that will the number of prosecutions by drink driving offences committed in Scotland has fallen by 12.5% inside year since the brand-new limit was introduced. inside rest of the UK, which adheres to the higher limit, prosecutions have fallen by 6.6%
The lower limit, the idea seems, is actually persuading more Scots to not take the risk of drinking any alcohol before driving.
The higher limit adopted by the rest of the UK leaves more of a grey area, where many drivers assume they can have a couple of drinks along with still remain within the legal limit. that will isn’t always the case along with is actually a misconception that will the latest Think! drink driving awareness campaign sets out to put right.
The UK’s legal limit is actually generous by the standards of most European nations. Abbott supports a lower limit being introduced inside rest of the UK. “We definitely need to look at lowering the limit,” he says. “All the statistics point that will way along with the idea would likely be Great for everybody.”
While a person driving at the Scottish legal limit is actually a few times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a sober motorist, driving at the higher English limit increases that will risk to 13 times more likely according to data sourced by the Pacific Institute of Research.
When a driver is actually pulled over by the police along with asked to undergo a breath test, the idea is actually carried out with handheld preliminary breath test (PBT) equipment. The reading on the equipment is actually accurate to within 5%; a driver can’t be prosecuted using that will kit.
If a driver provides a positive reading on the PBT equipment, he or she is actually taken to a police station along with asked to provide an evidential breath test (EBT), which is actually accurate to within 3% along with can be used as evidence in a prosecution.
The penalties for being convicted of drink driving can be severe, along with include a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, a hefty fine, a licence endorsement along with even up to six months in prison. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has calculated that will the average personal cost of a drink-driving conviction could be up to £50,000.
Autocar tests a brand-new personal breathalyser
the idea’s a drizzly Thursday night, I’ve been out in London along with drunk a few pints of Amstel lager over the course of the same number of hours, with pint number one accompanied by a rather tasty burger along with chips.
I’ve taken the train home to Basingstoke, so the idea’s about an hour along that has a half since my last beer, yet the idea’s currently the wrong side of midnight along with I need to be up at 6.30am.
At home I’m testing the brand-new Alcosense Pro, a digital personal-use breathalyser available for £129.99 by branches of Halfords along with Boots’ online store, to check that will I’m not likely to be over the limit when I wake up.
The electronic device is actually much more sophisticated than the single-use breathalysers that will many motorists will have stowed in their cars’ glovebox during a trip to the continent.
Alcosense claims the Pro is actually “twice as accurate” as its best-selling Elite product, along with can deliver a level of accuracy that will is actually on a par with police-approved devices.
So here goes. Despite my earlier beer intake, setting up the device – which only has to be done at the first use – is actually easy: the idea’s just a matter of installing three AAA batteries along with then running through some simple calibration via the instructions on the screen.
the idea’s important to set up the correct date along with time; that will determines when the device’s calibration will need to be reset. The breath tester is actually calibrated for 12 months, after which the idea can be sent back to Alcosense for re-calibration at a cost of £24.99.
The device is actually activated by sliding up the front panel, exposing the aperture into which a disposable one-way valve mouthpiece can be inserted. One-way valves are used because – astonishingly – some people suck when they are asked to blow into a breathalyser.
I don’t make that will mistake, although there’s a bit of a technique involved in blowing correctly into the tube – the idea’s necessary to blow at a consistent force for several seconds – yet the device makes that will an intuitive process.
Two progress bars on the screen indicate if you’re blowing incorrectly, along with offer advice if you’re doing the idea wrong. I do so a couple of times, blowing too hard inside assumption that will that will will provide a better breath sample.
The 121sq mm sensor inside breathalyser works using fuel cell technology, an electrochemical process that will oxidises the alcohol in a breath sample to produce an electrical current along with determine the breath alcohol content.
the idea’s possible to overload the sensor by trying to take a test too soon after having an alcoholic drink – the advice is actually to wait at least ten minutes before using the device – along with the Pro goes into ‘safe’ mode if the idea senses an overload is actually imminent.
Once the breath levels have been satisfied – in terms of volume, the unit asks for one litre of breath – the Alcosense Pro takes a few moments to deliver its verdict.
The breath alcohol limit is actually shown together that has a ‘traffic light’ coloured warning of whether the tester is actually above, below or close to the legal limit. the idea also provides an estimated length of time to sobriety, along with an alarm can be set to remind the user to retest when that will time is actually up.
My reading is actually 0.13 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – well within the legal limit of 0.35mg/ml. I don’t feel drunk, yet I wouldn’t have driven tonight regardless of whether I’d taken the test or not.
The device tells me I will be completely sober in 2hr 39m, which seems like quite a long time to eradicate such a smaller level of alcohol, yet reinforces the message that will a person might be under the influence even if they think they are not.
the idea isn’t just drivers on the road who have to be careful with their alcohol intake. Alcosense is actually involved with mandatory breath testing of competitors along with officials inside Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, in which Abbott races. Every racing driver is actually tested on each day of a race meeting to ensure they aren’t under the effects of alcohol.
Naturally, the run-up to Christmas is actually the busiest time for the company. “Our sales tend to track upwards with drink driving campaigns inside media,” says Abbott.
Of course, the idea’s also the busiest time for the traffic police, who will be out in force across the country during the festive period.
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