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Drink Driving Breath Tests – Know The Numbers

People often ask us, how likely is it that I might be stopped and breathalysed at some point?

We thought we’d share some statistics about breath tests in England and Wales.

Trend In Breath Tests – 2001-2010

Number of Breath Tests Carried Out in England and Wales From 2001 to 2010

The actual number of breath tests carried out in England and Wales in 2010 was 733,088, a drop from the 814,207 in 2009.  It is worth noting that the general pattern is still an increase over time.

Incidences are affected by the time of year, with 20% of all breath tests being carried out during December and 14% carried out in June.  Despite this, the percentage of positive readings or refused tests were lower than in other months during June or December.

Geographically, you are 2 times more likely to be breathalysed if you are in Wales than in England, and each individual police force varied hugely in the number of breath tests they performed, with the smallest contribution from the West Midlands.

The highest rate of positive or refused tests was in Norfolk, at 3.3 per 1,000 population.  The lowest in line with population were in Northumbria and Avon & Somerset, which both came in at 0.9 per 1,000 population.


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