Police target drivers in Wales for roadside breath tests

Breath test

If you drive in North Wales, police are more likely to ask you to do a roadside breath test than anywhere else in England and Wales, according to a new survey.

Analysis of Home Office data by motor insurer Direct Line revealed that 43,178 motorists in North Wales had roadside breath tests during 2013 – that's 62 people tested out of every 1,000 drivers.

The second hotspot was also in Wales: police in Dyfed-Powys carried out 42 tests per 1,000 people, while drivers in Lancashire were faced with 28 tests for every 1,000 people.

But in Avon and Somerset only four drivers out of every 1,000 had breath tests, making just 6,380 tests in total in the region. Similarly, Leicestershire experienced only five tests per 1,000 people and just 5,606 tests.

In the run-up to Christmas, police are more likely to stop motorists for drink-driving tests – more than 160,000 tests were carried out in December 2013.

Difficult to measure

But, surprisingly, police pulled over a record number of motorists for potential drink-driving in June 2013, when there were 108,592 breath tests – double the annual average of 56,969. The warm weather encourages more people to eat al fresco and enjoy summer drinks at home, such as Sangria and Pimms and lemonade, where it is hard to keep track of the amount of alcohol you've consumed.

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, said: "From barbecues to all-day sporting fixtures, daytime drinking is a part of the British summer. But you can have a drink and have some fun without getting behind the wheel afterwards. Some summer drinks are easy to consume but difficult to measure. If you'll be doing something where the drinks are flowing, the best approach is to plan on getting home afterwards without having to drive."

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