Fleet News

New powers for breath-test police

POLICE may be given new powers to stop and breath-test drivers during temporary drink-drive clampdowns near pubs or clubs. Although the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions stresses that no decision has yet been made, there has been widespread speculation that the new powers will become law next year.

Proposals for such measures were included in the consultation paper on drink-driving launched by Transport Minister Gavin Strang last week. A DETR spokesman said ministers were considering legislation which could allow police to set up temporary breath-testing crackdowns near pubs or clubs, but the introduction of truly random breath-testing was not seen as a suitable option.

Strang's consultation paper also included the option of cutting the limit from 80mg to 50mg, which could effectively put drivers over the limit after just one pint and increasing maximum sentences. The paper has already won the support of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, which has welcomed proposals to toughen the UK's drink-drive laws. However, it says the Government must concentrate on the hard-core of offenders who drive when over the current limit.

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