Police Powers and Procedures: Breath Tests, year ending 31 December 2021

Organisation: The Home Office

Date of Publication: November 2022

Uploaded to Knowledge Centre: 14 December 2022

This publication includes data on the number of breath tests carried out by police in England and Wales. It presents data on a calendar-year basis up to and including 2021. The data show the number of:

  • breath tests carried out by police in England and Wales
  • positive/refused breath tests
  • breath tests conducted per 1,000 population in each police force across England and Wales

Key results

In the year ending December 2021:

• There were 224,162 breath tests carried out by police, a 7% fall compared with the previous year (when comparing data for 40 forces who were able to provide full data in both years). Additionally, the level of breath tests in 2021 was 23% below the number in 2019 (291,326).

• This fall continues the downward trend seen since the peak of 709,512 breath tests in 2009.

• As in previous years, more breath tests were undertaken in December than any other month, coinciding with police drink and drug driving campaigns.

• 17% of breath tests were positive or refused, a similar proportion to the previous year.

Click on the link below to access the full data: