A competition to inspire companies to create a new mobile breathalyser has been launched by the government with £350,000 being invested in the incentive.
A new roadside breathalyser would allow police to gather on-the-spot proof and ensure drink drivers face swifter justice.
With the new breathalyser, police should be able to take samples from suspect drivers at the roadside and the instant test would mean they will not need to be taken back to a police station to obtain evidence.
It will mean those marginally over the drink drive limit will not have extra time to ‘sober up’ and stand a chance of passing a later test at the station.
Roads minister Jesse Norman said: ‘The drink drive limit has helped to give us one of the safest road networks in the world but there is always more we can do.
‘This new mobile breathalyser technology will enable the police to enforce the alcohol limit more rigorously on those who still choose to drive after drinking, putting others at risk.’
The competition is being run by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety in the summer and will invite companies to submit proposed technologies which will rapidly calculate the amount of ethanol in exhaled breath for use at the roadside.
It is expected police forces throughout the UK will be able to use the device by summer 2020.The government will also deploy investigation teams dedicated to analysing the cause of road collisions later this year, as part of plans to improve road safety.
Supported by £480,000 of government funding, the RAC Foundation will lead the trial of a new approach to road casualty investigation alongside police forces, with teams carrying out research in selected cases to get a better understanding of what is causing collisions.
RAC Foundation Director Steve Gooding said: ‘We are keen to seize the opportunity to work with the DfT, the police and others to explore the scope for learning more about the causes of the road crashes that continue to blight - and curtail - so many lives, to establish the practicalities, costs and full benefits of tackling and pre-empting them more effectively.
‘RAC Foundation will work alongside DfT, Highways England, DVSA and the police to gather learning that will help inform government’s long-term strategy for road safety.’
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