HL Deb 22 June 1954 vol 188 cc1-2

My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in studying the causes contributing to road accidents, investigations have bean made into the use of the "Alcometer" method of ascertaining the alcohol content of the blood of persons involved in such accidents, with the view of impressing upon road users the need for the utmost care in the use of alcoholic beverages.]


My Lords, research has been carried out under the ægis of the Medical Research Council and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research to find out, under laboratory conditions, how drink affects driving performance and how such effect can be assessed in a manner which cannot be challenged. With this in view, experiments involving chemical analyses of blood, urine and breath are being carried out. All these media present certain difficulties in application, and further examination is proceeding. I can, however, assure the noble Lord that these experiments are being continued and that arrangements will be made to include the "Alcometer" in these tests.


My Lords, I wish to thank the noble Earl for the Answer he has given me. It does not take us very far, but there is a promise of something being done. Against the background of road deaths and accidents, the noble Earl will agree that there is much need to achieve some definiteness in this matter.


I may tell the noble Lord that quite a lot is being done. Professor Drew, of Bristol University, has conducted researches at the Road Research Laboratory in Langley. Buckinghamshire, for the last nine months or so, and it is hoped that his report will be available next year.