In 1974 nearly half of all people killed in Britain within the ages of 20 to 40 had an excess of alcohol above the legal limit. One of the main reasons for the failure to control drinking drivers is that there is a very small risk of being caught. However, because the distribution of very high blood concentration among the driving population is very selective, 'random' blood tests would not be cost-effective. The best method appears to be to concentrate screening breath tests at places where drivers are most likely to be found above the legal limit. There is a need in Britain for more information about blood alcohol concentration in victims of road accidents; it is suggested that a police surgeon be allowed, with the permission of the doctor in charge, to take a blood sample of an accident victim in hospital. There is little evidence to suggest that an automatic prison sentence for convicted drivers acts as a deterrent. Further research needs to be done in Britain to determine the distribution of alcohol in the driving population. More needs to be known about convicted drivers so that a selective sentencing policy could be adopted. /TRRL/

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    British Medical Association

    BMA House, Tavistock Square
    London WC1H 9JR,   United Kingdom 
  • Publication Date: 1977-3-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 665-666
  • Serial:
    • BMJ
    • Volume: 1
    • Issue Number: 6062
    • Publisher: British Medical Association
    • ISSN: 0959-8138
    • Serial URL:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00159856
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 16 1978 12:00AM