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Urgent Improvements Needed On Midlands Breath Test Rates

Lawyer Demands Action Following ‘Disturbing’ New Findings


Serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have called for action to improve breath test rates in the West Midlands, after concerning new government data revealed the area had the lowest rate across England and Wales.

Independent road safety charity Brake has revealed that the statistics show there was a rate of one test per 1,000 drivers in the region across 2010, which was below the rate of 13 per 1,000 recorded on average.

Around ten per cent fewer drivers were breathalysed in England and Wales in the 12-month period compared to 2009, while there was found to be a significant variation in the number of tests carried out across police forces.

Stephen Nye, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, acts for victims who have suffered serious injuries in road traffic collisions, helping them to secure vital funds which allow them to access vital rehabilitation and care services.

Commenting on the new figures, he said: “We have seen first-hand the terrible consequences that drink-driving can have on so many lives, leaving people with injuries from which they often never fully recover.

“This is why these new figures are so disturbing, not just due to the overall drop in testing but also the huge regional variations that have also become apparent.

“We would urge the government and police forces to recognise the important role that breath tests play in protecting so many road users and ensure that every effort is made to raise standards and make significant improvements on the number of tests carried out.
“The issue of drink-driving can genuinely be an issue of life and death, so we hope that everything possible is done to protect road users from the terrible dangers this subject can pose.”