Retired policeman finds fleet driver twice over the limit; the next morning

The danger of being over the legal alcohol limit in the morning after drinking the night before has been highlighted by a UK fleet operator.

Martin ‘Nobby’ Clark, driver development manager at Balfour Beatty Fleet Services, told a Brake Fleet Safety Conference that he had breathalysed an employee at a drink and drugs workshop and found the man to be two-times over the limit from drinking the night before. He had consumed three pints and a ‘wee dram’ of whiskey the previous night.

In a Fleet News report, the retired police officer explained he had used a police breathalyser and the reading had been accurate.

He said: “A lot of people don’t know that 70% of all positive breath tests are the morning after the night before. In my 22 years in the police, I’d say 80% of my drink-drive arrests were the morning after the night before.”

He recommended other organisations to buy a police breathalyser and randomly breathalyse people in the workplace.

“You can give guides but there is no accurate way of saying how much you can drink. It depends on the individual. Two people could drink three pints, wait two hours, be breathalysed and get two completely different readings,” he added

The workshop was held a few years ago and Balfour Beatty has had no incidents since.

The company routinely tests employees for drugs and alcohol and has started offering drink/drugs workshops to other fleets.

Kjell Anderton, a director of TrackCompare, said: “This just goes to show how alcohol can linger in the system and cause huge problems for commercial drivers and their employers. Fleet operators must remain extra vigilant and test regularly.”




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