2. Breath tests

The police can stop you at any time and ask you to take a breath test (‘breathalyse’ you) if:

  • they think you’ve been drinking
  • you’ve committed a traffic offence
  • you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident

If you refuse to take a breath test, or fail to supply a sample of breath and don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’, you can be arrested. A reasonable excuse could be a genuine physical or mental condition stopping you from giving a sample.

The breath test gives a result straight away. If it shows you’re not over the drink drive limit, you must be allowed to go.

If you fail the breath test, you’ll be taken to a police station and given 2 more breath tests. If they’re positive, you may be charged.

If you fail a breath test you can’t drive your car until you’re sober. You can ask someone else to collect your car for you.

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