9 OCTOBER 2017

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Article from BTNews 9 OCTOBER 2017

Breathalyser at 50

The drink-drive breathalyser yesterday marked 50 years since its introduction. Police carried out the first roadside test on a motorist on 8 October 1967 as the criteria for prosecution moved on from touching your nose with your eyes shut, walking in a straight line or standing on one leg.

There were 1,640 road fatalities attributed to alcohol in 1967. Despite a dramatic increase in car ownership since, Department for Transport (DfT) figures show there has been an eight-fold reduction, although 200 people a year still die in accidents where at least one driver is over the limit.

The Road Safety Act of 1967 set the maximum limit at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.35mg of alcohol per litre of breath), with drivers advised the only way to tell when you’re safe to drive the morning after is either to abstain or to use an accurate personal breathalyser.

One example is the AlcoSense Excel, available from Halfords at £99.99, which features a smaller version of the sensor used by several UK police forces and gives detailed readings of blood or breath alcohol concentrations.

See also BTN’s monthly MOTORING section in this issue.

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