HC Deb 07 March 1990 vol 168 cc633-4W
Mr. Day

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the national organisations responding to his consultation paper on possible changes to the breath testing legislation that were in favour of the police being given powers to conduct random breath testing either within the prescribed context of a roadside checkpoint or in the context of them being given unfettered discretion powers;

(2) if he will make a statement on the outcome of his consultation on changes to the breath testing legislation;

(3) if he will place copies of responses from organisations to his consultation exercise on breath testing legislation in the Library.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Following the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. Knight) on 1 February 1989 at column252, the following national organisations wrote to the Home Office to express support for extended police powers to conduct roadside breath tests, either in the form of unfettered discretion or some other form:

  • Alcohol Concern
  • Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers
  • Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland)
  • Association of Metropolitan Authorities
  • Association of Scottish Police Superintendents
  • Automobile Association
  • Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • British Medical Association
  • British Safety Council
  • Campaign Against Drinking and Driving
  • Churches Council on Alcohol and Drugs
  • County Surveyors' Society
  • Cyclists Touring Club
  • Guild of Experienced Motorists
  • Institute of Incorporated Highway Engineers
  • Justices' Clerks' Society
  • K-DOOR (Keep Death Off Our Roads)
  • Liberty
  • Magistrates' Association
  • Medical Commission on Accident Prevention
  • National Council of Women
  • National Federation of Women's Institutes
  • Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety
  • Police Federation (England and Wales)
  • Police Superintendents' Association (England and Wales)
  • Royal College of Community Medicine
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • 634
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Scotland's Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers
  • Scottish Accident Prevention Council
  • Scottish Council on Alcohol
  • Scottish Police Federation

We have considered carefully these and other responses received and we intend shortly to announce our conclusions.

Mr. Day

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to improve drivers' perception of the actual risk of being detected for excess alcohol.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Regular surveys carried out on behalf of the Department of Transport indicate a marked change in public attitudes towards drinking and driving in recent years. This included an increased awareness of the risk of being caught. This is borne out by the publication on 7 February of statistics of roadside breath tests for the 12 months to September 1989. They show that while the overall level of breath testing continues to rise, there is a continuing downward trend in the proportion of positive tests. A copy of the relevant Home Office statistical bulletin (4/90) is in the Library.

The Government encourage chief constables to make full use of police powers to require roadside breath tests. The efforts of the police will be further reinforced by the Government's drinking and driving campaigns to be launched again this year during the summer and at Christmas.