RAC Cars News


Motorists Most Likely To Be Breathalysed At 5pm, Tuesday

By raccars Published

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A British law firm has conducted research which suggests that Tuesday afternoons at 5pm see more breath tests conducted than at any other time. Drivers who have been involved in an accident or who have been stopped for driving erratically are more than twice as likely to be asked to take a breathalyser test on Tuesday afternoon at 5pm, than in the same circumstances on a Saturday night.

The research points to a worrying rise in daytime drinking, suggesting that motorists are becoming complacent about their safety to drive a few hours after having a couple of drinks with lunch. The data shows that people feel confident that they are safe to drive on the school run or home from work, assuming that the alcohol will have had a chance to be processed in their bodies.

JMW Solicitors, the law firm which conducted the research, cautions that drivers need to be aware of the personal and professional consequences of failing a breath test. Different people process alcohol through their bodies at different rates, so unless you are able to arrange alternative transport, soft drinks remain the only sensible option for drinking during the day or at any time before taking the wheel. While motorists are regularly cautioned against driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking, the Department for Transport figures show that breath tests are more often conducted in the afternoon than the morning. However, not all afternoon breath test failures are the result of lunchtime drinking - some show how long alcohol can linger in the body the afternoon after the night before.

JMW Solicitors analysed the circumstances of 2013's 356,665 breathalyser tests, which revealed that 3,703 of these took place after an accident at 5pm on Tuesdays - more than at any other time. 1,981 drivers were required to take a breath test at the same time for other reasons, again the busiest time of the week.

However, Tuesday at 5pm did not represent the high point of the week for breath test failures, which was at midnight between Saturday and Sunday. There were three times as many positive breath tests taken on a Saturday night (96) than at 5pm on Tuesday (28). The legal breath alcohol limit in England and Wales is currently 35mcgper 100ml. Scotland recently reduced this to 22mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

This information is particularly pertinent at Christmas. In 2013, 191,040 people were given breath tests over the Christmas period, resulting in 6,550 failures.

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