Drink driving – how motorists are falling foul of 'morning after' offences

Sunday, September 11th, 2016 - autos

Source : Drink driving – how motorists are falling foul of 'morning after' offences

Drink driving

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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 coming from drink driving can be decreasing, the proportion of motorists getting caught for being over the limit the morning after a festive party can be on the rise.

Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show which ‘morning after’ offences accounted for 13.82% of all drink-driving offences 10 years ago, yet which amount has currently exceeded 20%.

The figures suggest which some of the basic warnings concerning drink driving aren’t always being heeded. “People think which going to bed can be the same as pressing a reset button,” explains Hunter Abbott, managing director of breathalyser maker Alcosense.

Research coming from the Think! anti-drink-driving campaign supports This particular. the item reports which around 5500 people are failing breath tests between 6am along with midday every year.

The brand-new figures show which 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 which they could still be over the limit.

One of the challenges facing motorists can be the fact which alcohol affects different people in different ways.

“many factors can dictate the effect of alcohol along with the speed at which your Centeng can absorb the item, 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 item 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 This particular can be highly dependent on physical make-up along with metabolism. Additionally, the level of alcohol within the bloodstream can continue to improve for up to 0 minutes after the last drink, a factor which can leave some drivers assuming they feel capable of driving when they are in fact over the limit.

England’s drink drive limit can be 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, yet in December 2014 Scotland’s limit was lowered to 0.22 microgrammes.

Data coming from local along with regional police forces suggests which the number of prosecutions coming from drink driving offences committed in Scotland has fallen by 12.5% within the year since the brand-new limit was introduced. within the rest of the UK, which adheres to the higher limit, prosecutions have fallen by 6.6%

The lower limit, the item seems, can be 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. This particular isn’t always the case along with can be a misconception which the latest Think! drink driving awareness campaign sets out to put right.

The UK’s legal limit can be generous by the standards of most European nations. Abbott supports a lower limit being introduced within the rest of the UK. “We definitely need to look at lowering the limit,” he says. “All the statistics point which way along with the item might be Great for everybody.”

While a person driving at the Scottish legal limit can be a few times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a sober motorist, driving at the higher English limit increases which risk to 13 times more likely according to data sourced coming from the Pacific Institute of Research.

When a driver can be pulled over by the police along with asked to undergo a breath test, the item can be carried out with handheld preliminary breath test (PBT) equipment. The reading on the equipment can be accurate to within 5%; a driver can’t be prosecuted using This particular kit.

If a driver provides a positive reading on the PBT equipment, he or she can be taken to a police station along with asked to provide an evidential breath test (EBT), which can be 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 which the average personal cost of a drink-driving conviction could be up to £50,000.

Autocar tests a brand-new personal breathalyser 

the item’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 item’s about an hour along using a half since my last beer, yet the item’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 coming from branches of Halfords along with Boots’ online store, to check which I’m not likely to be over the limit when I wake up.

The electronic device can be much more sophisticated than the single-use breathalysers which many motorists will have stowed in their cars’ glovebox during a trip to the continent.

Alcosense claims the Pro can be “twice as accurate” as its best-selling Elite product, along with can deliver a level of accuracy which can be 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 – can be easy: the item’s just a matter of installing three AAA batteries along with then running through some simple calibration via the instructions on the screen.

the item’s important to set up the correct date along with time; This particular determines when the device’s calibration will need to be reset. The breath tester can be calibrated for 12 months, after which the item can be sent back to Alcosense for re-calibration at a cost of £24.99.

The device can be 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 which mistake, although there’s a bit of a technique involved in blowing correctly into the tube – the item’s necessary to blow at a consistent force for many seconds – yet the device makes This particular an intuitive process.

Two progress bars on the screen indicate if you’re blowing incorrectly, along with offer advice if you’re doing the item wrong. I do so a couple of times, blowing too hard within the assumption which This particular will provide a better breath sample.

The 121sq mm sensor within the breathalyser works using fuel cell technology, an electrochemical process which oxidises the alcohol in a breath sample to produce an electrical current along with determine the breath alcohol content.

the item’s possible to overload the sensor by trying to take a test too soon after having an alcoholic drink – the advice can be to wait at least ten minutes before using the device – along with the Pro goes into ‘safe’ mode if the item senses an overload can be 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 can be shown together using a ‘traffic light’ coloured warning of whether the tester can be above, below or close to the legal limit. the item also provides an estimated length of time to sobriety, along with an alarm can be set to remind the user to retest when This particular time can be up.

My reading can be 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 which a person might be under the influence even if they think they are not.

the item isn’t just drivers on the road who have to be careful with their alcohol intake. Alcosense can be involved with mandatory breath testing of competitors along with officials within the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, in which Abbott races. Every racing driver can be tested on each day of a race meeting to ensure they aren’t under the effects of alcohol.

Naturally, the run-up to Christmas can be the busiest time for the company. “Our sales tend to track upwards with drink driving campaigns within the media,” says Abbott.

Of course, the item’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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