Breath Tests and Breath Test Failures – 2003-2013


Breath tests and breath test failures by drivers and riders involved in reported accidents, 2003-2013


Department for Transport statistics for the 10 year period from 2003 to 2013 indicate that the number of breath tests and breath test failures by drivers and riders involved in reported accidents has dropped significantly.


In 2003, for example, a total of 374,278 drivers and riders were involved in (reported) accidents whereas in 2013 this number was 232,709 – a decrease of almost 38%.


Of these drivers and riders, 50% were breath tested in 2003 whilst 53% were breath tested in 2013.


Those who failed the breath test made up just over 2% of the drivers and riders tested in 2003 and just under 2% in 2013.


The statistics also give a breakdown by whether a person was a car driver, a motorcycle rider, or driving another sort of vehicle.


Of the total drivers and riders involved in (reported) accidents, the percentage breakdown for 2003 was as follows: car drivers at 80%, motorcycle riders at 8% and drivers of other vehicles at 12%.


The same breakdown for 2013 is interesting as, give or take less than 1%, each category remains the same.


In summary, whilst the breath testing of those drivers and riders involved in (reported) accidents would appear to remain constant over the 10 year period, at around 50%, very few actually failed the test – then and now.


So, although the public perception may lean towards the demonising of drink drivers as the cause of far too many road accidents, taking the Department for Transport’s statistics into consideration is important. It is clear from these figures that other factors need to be taken into consideration when assessing why accidents are taking place on our roads.


That less road accidents are now being reported, and investigated, is good news for all drivers/riders and their passengers – whatever the cause.


If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, call our expert team now on 01623 600645.

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