Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 17th December 2018

Drunk driving is a nationwide issue, but steps are being taken to eliminate it. One of the latest initiatives is being carried out by Durham Police, with them offering offenders new devices that will breathalyse them before the car starts. The pilot scheme will make use of ‘interlocks’ that stops a car if the driver is over the legal limit.

Drivers will be forced to take a breath test before starting their vehicle and again at random points on a journey. The results would be sent to police in real time through a mobile network. The devices have already been rolled out in the US and Denmark, with Durham Police offering them free of charge to volunteers.

Detective inspector Andy Crow who is leading the initiative said “this really is an innovative project which is a first for the UK and will hopefully help us identify and deal with potential drink-drivers before they even get behind the wheel. A number of offenders in our area have a problematic relationship with alcohol and we hope, as part of our wider programme, this will help them address their issues.”

As a part of Durham’s Police Checkpoint programme, there devices are being used to lower crime. Durham police and crime commissioner Ron Hogg gave his opinion. “The misuse of alcohol puts a massive strain on our emergency services and the financial burden alone is estimated to be in the region of £11 billion, not to mention the potentially devastating consequences for the families of those killed or injured in road traffic accidents caused by alcohol.”

“The UK government has assessed the evidence from other countries and concluded that alcohol interlocks are effective and cost-effective in reducing reoffending. Yet there is no legislation which would allow police forces in the UK to pilot these devices through the courts.”

“Until there is a change in national policy, Durham Constabulary will use these on a voluntary basis for repeat offenders, those who have a history of problems with alcohol or anyone who thinks could benefit from the system to sign up through the Checkpoint programme.”

The devices have the potential to be very effective when it comes to stopping drink driving.

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