Police are to be given new roadside breathalysers that close a loophole allowing some drink-drivers to escape justice.
Currently, drivers who fail roadside tests are taken back to the police station to undergo a second test giving an accurate reading of the amount of alcohol present.
This can add anything from 20 minutes to the time it takes to get a reading – allowing some drivers to sober up enough to escape a ban.
The Government is to launch a competition to create machines that can record ‘evidential’ readings at the roadside, meaning drivers won’t need to be taken back to the police station for further testing.
Drivers who are ‘marginally’ over the limit, will no longer be able to rely on the extra time to let them sober up and potentially pass the test.
The new machine could free up police resources dealing with the huge numbers of drivers caught over the limit. In 2016, 460,000 drivers were tested and 59,000 proved positive.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “The drink drive limit has helped to give us one of the safest road networks in the world but there is always more we can do.
“This new mobile breathalyser technology will enable the police to enforce the alcohol more rigorously limit on those who still choose to drive after drinking, putting others at risk.”
The new roadside technology is expected to be in action by summer 2020.