Should Breathalysers Be Mandatory Before Driving? - The Coventry Observer

Should Breathalysers Be Mandatory Before Driving?

Coventry Editorial 10th Jan, 2024   0

The topic of drink driving always comes up around this time of year and after the festive period we often see the statistics released on just how much damage irresponsible behaviour has done.

Despite the dangers, every year thousands of people are arrested as a result of drink driving, with hundreds of people killed. Yet, still so many people take that risk.

Alongside this, rates of addiction are also on the rise, with more people struggling with alcohol addiction and more people entering private alcohol rehab as a result. And while the latter is of course a good thing, the volume of people now addicted to alcohol is only going to make the roads more dangerous over the long term.

Drink driving preventative methods are often discussed, but one topic of debate at present is whether drivers should mandatorily have to do a breathalyser test prior to starting the engine of a car.




It’s an interesting concept and one that has many pros and cons, with many drivers being put off by the controlling state of it, effectively being a symbol of a nanny state. We take a look at what it could mean for drivers.

It ensures driver safety and legal requirements are met

Ultimately, for any driver and people using the roads it’s going to increase safety. There’s no doubt about that and that can’t be debated. If a car is immobilised following someone being over the limit, it essentially eliminates the threat of that person on the road.


What’s more, it protects that driver as ultimately they could not only be risking their life and others by getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, they could get in serious trouble with the police. That can affect homelife, careers and so much more.

It’s a great education for new drivers

While times have already changed from the “five and drive” days, by having breathalyser tests as mandatory, it sets a precedent for new drivers. Today, many new drivers do obey the law as standard but by adding breathalysers to cars it means obeying the law is unavoidable, and ultimately for new drivers it would become the norm.

Over generations that would help completely eradicate drink driving from the roads and make Britain a much safer place.

Technology pitfalls and foul play

Naturally, there are downsides too. Technology does have a habit of breaking down on us, which could lead to a number of emergency situations in which people can’t move their vehicles, despite being under the limit, while you’d inevitably see people trying to manipulate the system, which could cause all manner of insurance and legal problems.

Those pitfalls could cause huge problems, but ultimately it is an interesting concept and one you get the impression would work. It may not sit comfortably with some drivers, particularly as we’re monitored more day-to-day as it is, but if it saves lifes, then it’s something that could well be worth considering.

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