Drink-drive blood test scrapped

Drivers who fail a breathalyser test will no longer be able to demand a blood test, the Government has announced.

The move is being put in place because the Department for Transport (Dft) says having to wait for a doctor helps some drivers escape conviction.

A DfT spokeswoman said: "If you are arrested at the roadside and taken in for the evidential [second] test, the police have to call a doctor out and that can take a couple of hours, during which time your level will have gone down."

The RAC is backing the plans. "As long as the technology can hold up in a court of law, we back the proposals," said a spokesman. "Our members are keen for the drink and drug limits to be reduced."

But lawyers have said innocent drivers could be wrongly convicted. "Breathalysers rely on human input and there are all sorts of things that can go wrong with them," said Jeanette Miller, president of the Association of Motor Offence Lawyers."

The legal limit in a breath test is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The driver may request a blood test if the breathalyser detects between 35 and 50 micrograms.

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