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Alco-locks in vehicles to prevent rise in drink drive incidents

The most recent figures on drink drive related accidents have been released by the Department for Transport. There were 5890 accidents where the driver was found to be over the drink drive limit, an increase of 3% from the previous year. The number of accidents resulting in fatalities in 2018 was 21o, a reduction from earlier years.

By far the majority of cases involved a make driver, in over 80% of  all cases.

A DfT spokeswoman commented “‘Drink-driving is truly unacceptable. It’s a senseless act that puts everyone at risk.£

Road Safety groups are calling upon the government to invest in more public safety and awareness campaigns to prevent a further rise and also to consider the use of alco-locks within vehicles, in particular for repeat offenders. Alco Locks are driver breathalyser devices fitted to vehicles which prevent the vehicle being mobilised for a set period of time if the driver shows excess levels of alcohol in the breath.

By 2024, EU Rules introduce mandatory alco-locks to new vehicles manufactured after this date. It in unclear if this would be adopted by the UK post Brexit.

Where a driver is suspected of drink driving or where there has been an accident, the police will require a roadside breath test as part of the preliminary investigation. If this is positive, the driver will be taken to the police station for a mandatory breath test on the intoxilyser machine. A conviction for drink driving involves a minimum 12 month disqualification and can carry up to 6 months’ custody.

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