HC Deb 15 February 1991 vol 185 cc598-9W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of alcohol tests on drivers each week and the numbers(a) above twice the legal limit, (b) above the legal limit but below twice the limit and (c) below the legal limit.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

I have been asked to reply.

Statistics of breath tests for England and Wales are published in Home Office statistical bulletins. The most recent detailed statistics, for 1989, were published in issue number 25/90. A copy of this bulletin is in the Library.

In 1989, in England and Wales, 540.9 thousand screening breath tests were reported and there were in addition 8,500 cases of persons arrested for impairment or required to provide an evidential sample for other reasons. The total requirement, 549.4 thousand, is equivalent to a weekly average of about 10,540 tests.

Of the screening tests, 427,900 were negative, leaving a total requirement for evidential tests of 121,500. The final outcome of these evidential tests is given in table 9 of the statistical bulletin 25/90. The number of positive tests was 94,900 which is equivalent to a weekly average of about 1,820 tests. The remainder includes not only negative results but also cases where the test was refused or where a sample could not be obtained. For 37,700 of the positive tests, the outcome was more than twice the legal limit, which is equivalent to about 720 tests a week.

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