§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what evidence he has on the effectiveness of random mass alcohol testing of drivers in securing continuing reductions in drink driving after any one-off drop.
§ Mr. Chope
The best evidence we have on the effect of random breath testing come from New South Wales. The table below shows its effectiveness in reducing the proportion of drivers and riders killed who were over the limit since its introduction in 1982. Following the effect of an "on-off" drop that might be attributed to the introduction of such a measure, levels have remained largely unchanged.
Proportion of drivers and riders killed, whose alcohol level was known, over the legal limit New South Wales Great Britain per cent. per cent. 1982 40 33 1983 36 28 1984 33 26 1985 33 26 1986 34 24 1987 32 23 1988 31 21 1989 33 119 1 Provisional.
A comparison with the proportional fall in Britain shows that our approach, of seeking to change public attitudes through a carefully targeted campaign, has been more successful.
The legal limit in New South Wales is 50 milligrammes of alcohol per millilitre of blood, compared with 80 in Great Britain.