Private firms to test blood samples

The Government has agreed a deal with a number of private firms to test samples from suspected drink-drivers after the Forensic Science Service pulled out of an arrangement.

The 11th hour deal has allayed concerns that some drink-drive cases would fall apart as a result of the FSS withdrawing its services.

A leaked memo revealed that chief constables were told to store blood and urine samples in a fridge until a deal was struck.

In a joint statement, the National Police Improvement Agency and Association of Chief Police Officers said all collected samples will be tested.

A spokesman said: "The speed of our response means that there has been no adverse impact upon road traffic policing or the administration of justice.

"Suspected drink-drivers have continued to provide samples, and the police have continued to store these in refrigerated conditions."

Blood and urine samples are taken when suspected drink-drivers opt for a second test, when police equipment is faulty or when they are unable to take a breath test.

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