Christmas Cracker - N Pulham
It's a cracker:

Police Warning on Christmas DIY Breath-Tests

.............Roger Vincent, a spokesman for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, added, "DIY breath-testers are a temptation for drivers to drink up to the limit. People might be lured into having another half before getting behind the wheel of a car."..................

Story filed: 10:55 Sunday 9th December 2001


One for the road?

No I'd better not - had three halves already ............. but wait a minute: I've got one of those two quid disposable breath test kits, you know - the ones where the "leaflet sold with the device warns the test results may not be accurate if the test is not conducted according to the instructions"

Lets see, if I've conducted the test according to the instructions, and I don't drink it all, I should be able to have another half!

So what exactly are "the police" and the "safety" mafia trying to achieve here?

Re: Christmas Cracker - pugugly
Word of Caution on diy kits. Scenario.... 20 mins after last drink, driver tests himself and finds himself "under the limit". Drives off with a grin. 20 mins later got stopped by the Police....., tested positive on screening roadside test, scored a 43 as lower reading in the nick. Result lost licence for 12 months and a hefty fine. Reason: alcohol absorbed into the system after his diy test (which may or may not have been accurate). From my point of view he was advised to plead guilty (whereas I could have wrung a few quid out of him by getting a trial out of it and an almost certain conviction) My own advise is don't drink at all and drive.
Research says that alcohol level rises gradually for some time after last drink, don't ask me to quote figures on this but individual metabolic rates are a variable.
Re: Christmas Cracker - Richard P
Read the test reports in the latest 'Autoexpress', where they generally received poor and inaccurate results from these self-test kits. One read 50% too low!
Motto is: Don't drink and really is not worth it.
Re: Christmas Cracker - io
But isn't NP suggesting that if you think you are safe - double check, play safe, and test.

And if the inaccurate test says you're over, get a taxi home.
Re: Christmas Cracker - Steve G
As Richard P said - dont drink and drive. It's not worth the risk
Re: Christmas Cracker - ian (cape town)
I don't know which is worse - the self-test kit, or those remarkable remedies designed to sober you up enough to drive (on sale in my local pub!) ...
Re: Christmas Cracker - Cockle
I always thought that the police tried to dissuade the use of these kits on the basis that if you were unsure then you were probably over the top anyway. BUT in local paper last week it was stated that Essex Police will be setting up a stand at Liverpool Street station so that revellers from Xmas parties in the City can be sure that they are not over the top when they get off the train and drive home! So hopefully next week I'll be able to get them to come round to our Xmas 'do' and test everyone before they leave so that we aren't taking a risk of losing our licences on the way home :-)
Re: Christmas Cracker - Sue
Cockle wrote:
> BUT in local paper last week it
> was stated that Essex Police will be setting up a stand at
> Liverpool Street station so that revellers from Xmas parties
> in the City can be sure that they are not over the top when
> they get off the train and drive home!

To my mind, the way this works is not that they are enabling revellers to 'be sure that they are not over the top' but that they are surprising/shocking some people who are sure they *aren't* anywhere near the limit.

Because there is no hard and fast rule - everyone's metabolism is different, so two people might drink the same and give very different results over the next few hours.
Re: Christmas Cracker - Cockle
I'm sure that is probably the aim behind it, it just didn't read that way, but there is the danger that someone who would otherwise not have driven due to having had a drink will now discover that they are just under and will therefore drive. This has been the objection to having breath testers in pubs, etc, i.e. people will drink up to their limit. Obviously the only way to be sure is not to drink at all when driving because of the metabolism differences, etc.

It has always struck me that it is one of the few offences which carries an automatic, mandatory, minimum sentence but which one can never be sure you are committing.

Before anyone jumps on me for being pro-D&D, I'm not, in fact I believe that if someone kills when over the limit then the charge should really be manslaughter and their licence should be revoked for life.

I certainly feel it's healthy to have the subject aired once in a while, especially in a motoring based forum.
Re: Christmas Cracker - Colin M
But how come with almost every other motoring law, I will always be completely aware which side of the law I am on. Not so with drink driving and although there *is* a legal limit, I don't know how to keep within that limit other than not drink at all. Of course, this makes sense, so we should adopt a Scandinavian type zero tolerance, but at the moment, we have a legal limit. If I want to drink up to that point, how? It is like trying to negotiate a speed limit with no speedometer or other point of reference.

This is not condoning drink driving, but the law is a joke (again).
Re: Christmas Cracker - N Pulham
Yes, but how do you define drink and drive?

And how do you define don't drink and drive/zero tolerance?

Don't have a pint the night before?

Don't have a "rich" Christmas cake last week?

Don't have a chocolate liqueur last month?

Don't have that cough medicine last year?

Value my car