The government is to consider changing the drink driving laws in Britain. For a trial period in and around London from next month traffic police officers will no longer have to accompany drivers to police stations after they've been pulled over when suspected of being over the limit but will have the option of simply ordering the suspected offenders to drive themselves to the nearest police station to take the breathaliser test there.
"Obviously the decision will be left up to the discretion of the police officers on the scene" explained Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stingyson "and it will be necessary for them to make an on the spot judgement as to whether the suspects are capable of driving themselves to a nearby police station at minimal risk both to themselves and other road users. Clearly only rarely would a driver incapable of telling a traffic officer his name then be allowed to get back behind the wheel of his or her vehicle."
The reasoning behind the new idea is to give traffic police more time to stop more drivers, and so ensure that a significantly greater number of drunken drivers are caught.
"No doubt there will be occasions when a driver taking himself to a police station will then be involved in an accident on the way there" admits the Commissioner "But as with all things one has to weigh up the risks against the benefits to society as a whole. It will be an option especially useful for our traffic officers to apply on weekend evenings when we believe there could be up to 10% of London's drivers out on the Capital's roads while under the influence. The aim is to see that reduced to no more than 5% within a year."
I pointed out to the Commissioner that many drivers pulled over might not be familiar with the area where they've been stopped by police, and not know where to find a nearby police station. His view was that many drivers have satellite navigation in their cars nowadays, and those pulled over who do not could simply ask a policeman for directions."