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Fleets advised to warn drivers about inaccuracy of cheap breathalysers at Christmas

Fleets advised to warn drivers about inaccuracy of cheap breathalysers at Christmas

Fleets have been advised to warn their drivers over the Christmas break about the poor accuracy of cheap personal breathalysers.

Fleet software company FleetCheck said that many low cost devices were so inaccurate as to be useless and could lead to an employee putting their licence at risk - and lives, too.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “Independent testing shows that the kind of keychain breathalysers that cost a few pounds are often next to useless when it comes to working out whether people are fit to drive.

“Company car and van drivers who have a drink over the Christmas break and then test themselves with one the following morning are no doubt trying to be responsible but the chances of the device giving an accurate reading are not good.

“The employee could head out on the road, be stopped by the police and lose their licence or, worse, become involved an accident because alcohol has impaired their judgement.”

Mr Golding said that, to gain a reasonably accurate measure of the amount of alcohol still in the bloodstream, the cheapest breathalysers cost around £60.

He explained: “Auto Express magazine conducted testing earlier this year and anything below this price level gave results that were so prone to variation that they were often useless. The more accurate devices cost at least £100.

“This might sound like quite a lot but would no doubt seem something of a bargain in retrospect if you were to be accused of drink-driving.”

Mr Golding added: “Corporates attitude to alcohol should be codified in their overall fleet policy. The only responsible approach is a zero tolerance attitude to drink but it is worth providing advice over Christmas and the New Year about, for example, the length of time that alcohol stays in a person’s bloodstream and not to take chances.

“The number of drivers who are unaware of the very real dangers of morning-after drinking is very surprising.”

Meanwhile, the world’s top drivers would never mix alcohol with driving - so nobody else should. That is the message from former Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell this festive period.

He is backing IAM RoadSmart’s ‘Drive Like a Champion’ anti drink-drive campaign this month.

President of IAM RoadSmart for more than a decade, Mr Mansell believes everyone can be a winner on the road - simply by thinking ahead, anticipating the road … and most importantly in the run up to the festive season, not touching a drop of alcohol when getting behind the wheel.

He said: “Drink and drug-driving is for losers. On the track you need to be in the best possible form at all times. This equally applies to anyone driving on the road. You have your own life, those of your passengers and everyone around you in the palm of your hands.

“Drink-driving increases your risk of being a potential killer behind the wheel. The responsibility of driving a road vehicle safely is just as great as when driving a Formula 1 car - if not more so.

“Be a champion of the road like me this Christmas and New Year. Do the right thing for your family, friends and other road users. Drive safe, drive sober and go #NoneForTheRoad.”