Should drink driving rules for newly qualified drivers be different?

The UK’s current legal limit allowing you to drive with alcohol in your system is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres – in most of Europe, the legal limit is often between 20 and 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, showing that the UK is actually more lenient than many countries…but are we too lenient?

It’s already well-known that newly qualified drivers have more accidents than those who are more experienced. In fact, research has shown that newly-qualified drivers can be up to 2 seconds slower at recognising possible hazards and  dangers than more experienced drivers – and this is without the influence of alcohol!

If this is the case, then why is it that newly-qualified drivers can drink the same amount of alcohol as those who are more experienced and still get away with it? Surely it’d make sense to reduce their allowance?

But what does society class as a ‘newly qualified driver’? Is it someone who’s been driving for a year? Half a year? Yet, some people will drive every day, others only once per week. Should we ask the drivers to clock their miles? It all seems a little much.

Nonetheless, something needs to be done. In the UK, only one in eight drivers license holders are under the age of 25 – yet one in three deaths are caused by drivers under the age of 25. On top of this, one in five new drivers is involved in a crash within their first year of driving. Surely, drinking won’t help this?

Arguably, a lot of drink-driving related accidents take place at night. Statistically, a newly qualified driver is much more likely to make a mistake in the dark – and it’s not difficult to see why. Lowering the drink-driving allowance for those who are newly qualified is likely to reduce the number of accidents that take place later in the evening.

From these factors alone, it is clear to see that drink-driving is an extremely serious hazard which needs to be tackled. It is highly unlikely that the issue will ever completely be put to a stop, but it is definitely within our power to reduce the number of accidents that occur. The only question is: how far should we go?

Best Breathalyzer to buy in UK for Christmas 2012

Oh no I can’t believe we have got to that time of year again already. Time does fly

We always have an increased number of telephone enquiries at this time of year as the festive & office party season approaches asking ”what is the best breathalyzer to buy ?”

Here are some of the questions we have received recently by telephone:

Question ‘Hi, I am going to a few office parties over the next few months and want to make sure I dont break the law by driving after alcohol, especially the next morning. What would you recommend ?

Answer We would suggest a 3 test pack of 0.08% single use breath alcohol test tubes to keep in you glove box. These are simple blow tube chemical breathalyzers which you use once and throw away after use.  They change colour if your blood alcohol is at the UK prosecution level of 0.08% BAC or above. If you want to be really safe you can also get them in the lower European 0.05%BAC or Professional 0.02%BAC cutt off formats. If you dont use the breathalyzers this year they have  long use by dates.

Disposable Breathalyzer kits

Question :We will be organising office parties with alcohol this season and need to ensure we dont encourage any staff to work or drive while under the influence, What is the best test option for us to use ?

Answer :Our recommendation depends on the estimate of the number of tests you realistically expect to complete. If it is less than 20 then a bulk professional pack of .02% BAC single use breathalyzers is the best option. Over 20 tests and we move to the digital hand held breathalyzers, starting with the DA5000 breathalyzer. I would also consider the AL6000 and AL7000 breathalyzer models if you expect to test regularly and would also like a breathalyzer for regular or standby employment tests as the sensor change is easier and faster in the more expensive models.

If you do go for a digital breathalyzer, make sure you get a unit which displays the %BAC or mg/100ml BAC (blood alcohol concentrations) as this makes interpreting the results easier. Also make sure you buy sufficient breathalyzer mouthpieces or blow tubes to throw them away after each test and that you can get a replacement sensor for the breathalyzer easily, as you will need to replace this about every 300 tests.

Reccomended digital breathalyzers

Breathalyzer mouthpieces

You can buy a digital breathalyzer online from the extensive range at