Lancashire tops the poll for breath tests

Bbreathalyser equipment demonstration
Bbreathalyser equipment demonstration
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Drivers in Lancashire are more likely to be breath tested by police than in any other part of England, according to a new survey.

The county has come top in a list of breathalyser hotspots compiled by insurance company Direct Line.

Lancashire Constabulary carried out 30.9 tests per 1,000 population in the year up to August, compared with 25.4 in Cumbria, 17.7 in North Yorkshire and 6.3 in West Yorkshire.

But the Red Rose figures paled in comparison to two areas across the border in Wales where 71.5 breath tests were carried out in the North Wales Police area and 43.2 in Dyfed-Powys.

The survey also found that women drivers are far less likely to be breath tested than men. Only 23 per cent of tests carried out in the 12 months to the end of August were on women.

In one force, Cambridgeshire, the figure was even lower with only 15 per of tests on female motorists. In all seven per cent of women fail roadside tests compared with 10 per cent of men.

Gus Park, of Direct Line, said the discrepancy between test numbers was a concern, particularly because previous research indicated that 14 per cent of women who admitted driving while over the limit said they did so because they did not expect to get caught.

“Roadside testing is an important deterrent and helps improve driver safety by keeping intoxicated motorists off the road,” he said. “With such a small difference between the proportion of men and women who pass a breath test, it’s surprising to see such a discrepancy in the overall numbers being tested.”