Drivers in Devon and Cornwall are being warned they are more likely to be breath tested this December than any other month.

Analysis of Home Office data by personal breathalyser firm AlcoSense shows that in December last year, Devon and Cornwall Police stopped 1,120 motorists suspected of drink driving.  That compared with 755 in an average month. 

A total of 98 motorists in Devon and Cornwall tested last December were found to be over the limit.  The failure rate of 9% was slightly lower than the national average of 10%. 

Police are now stepping up their campaign again this year, targeting anyone tempted to drive under the influence after watching the World Cup or celebrating Christmas.

“Enjoying an evening game, whether at home with family or down the pub, increases the likelihood of driving the next morning with alcohol still in your system,” says Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense. “If you drink four pints of medium-strong beer or four large glasses of wine during the football, it could take as long as 14 hours for the alcohol to clear your system.

“The rule is simple.  If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive and if you’re driving, don’t drink.  If in any doubt, self-test with a personal breathalyser to ensure you’re clear of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.  One in five drink drive convictions are in the morning”. 

Even with just 10mg per 100mL of alcohol in your blood (one eighth of the legal limit in England and Wales) you are 37% more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when completely sober, research shows.

Throughout 2021, Devon and Cornwall Police carried out 9,428 roadside breath tests, the fifth highest number in the country, with 1,070 motorists either testing positive or refusing to provide a sample.  The annual failure rate of 11% was again lower than the national average of 17%. 

Government figures estimate that 6,480 people are killed or injured nationally in drink drive accidents, with drunk drivers accounting for 15% of road deaths every year.