Breath-test hotspots revealed

New research has revealed the most likely areas where drivers will be given on-the-spot breath tests by police.

A survey from insurance company Direct Line has revealed that drivers in North Wales are more likely to be required to take roadside tests than anywhere else in England and Wales.

Dyfed-Powys, another Welsh force, is the second most likely hotspot, while Lancashire is the area which carries out the most breath tests in England.

The other main areas where police have been found to issue breath tests are Cumbria, Suffolk, Norfolk and Northamptonshire, plus North Yorkshire, Humberside and Wiltshire.

On the other side of the scale, Avon and Somerset was the area where the least drivers were subjected to breath-tests, along with Kent and West Yorkshire also being relatively safe.

Others in the top 10 least likely areas to be stopped include the West Midlands, Leicestershire and London, plus Northumbria, Surrey, Derbyshire and Hertfordshire.

Annual crackdown

Police around the country are currently gearing up for their annual crackdown on drink-driving behaviour around the Christmas period, which is typically the worst time of the year for drink-related accidents.

As part of the step up in measures to combat seasonal drink driving, police have announced that on-the-spot breath-test checkpoints will be set up around the country to catch drivers in the act.

Furthermore, Sussex and Surrey police have said that they will start naming and shaming drivers pulled over on suspicion of drink-driving on social media channels like Twitter.

Social media

The forces will publicly share the details of when and where drivers were pulled over, and any driver charged with drink-driving will also have their names posted on social media as a deterrent.

Police have said that the measure will cut the number of drivers tempted to drive after having a drink, despite criticism that it encourages a presumption of guilt in drivers charged with being over the limit.

Direct Line’s research also showed that women drivers are far less likely to be pulled over for a breath test than men, with only 23 per cent of breath-tests in the past year carried out on women.

Gus Park, of Direct Line, said the discrepancy was a concern, particularly due to previous research showing that 14 per cent of women who admitted to drink-driving said they did so because they didn’t expect to get caught.

He said: “Roadside testing is an important deterrent and helps improve driver safety by keeping intoxicated motorists off the road.

“Whilst the reasons for this imbalance are unclear, many female motorists who admit to drink driving cite a low risk of getting caught as a key reason, suggesting that perhaps more could be done to discourage this behaviour.”