The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, in partnership with Alcosense, has further strengthened its stance on ‘morning after’ drink driving by ensuring its competitors have breathalyser equipment away from the circuit, as well as continuing its stringent zero tolerance checks during race meetings.
Whether you’re a man in the street or a BTCC Champion, any amount of alcohol in your blood affects your ability to drive with potentially fatal results – even if you’re below the legal limit. Thousands of responsible motorists get a taxi home at the end of a night out, but when are you clear the following morning? It can take longer than you think… For example, if you drank 4 medium strength pints between 9pm and midnight you could still be over the limit at 11am and not completely sober until 1pm the following day, which is why almost 1 in 5 drink drive accidents happen the ‘morning after’.
The BTCC believes racing drivers are unlikely to drink at a race meeting as alcohol would impair their performance, but even drinking the night before may leave some alcohol in their system. In a ground-breaking initiative launched at the Oulton Park event earlier this year, the BTCC and AlcoSense test all drivers and officials for residual alcohol each morning at a race meeting, but in reality drivers will be at a greater risk of unintentional drink driving the ‘morning after’ away from the race track.
At the Silverstone round, AlcoSense gave each driver an AlcoSense Elite breathalyser (winner of the What Car? Best Breathalyser under £100 award) to enable them to quickly and accurately tell when any residual alcohol from the night before had cleared their system, taking any potentially fatal guesswork out of the equation.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “We are already testing drivers ahead of each race but we want our competitors to be safe drivers at all times. The BTCC takes safety very seriously and we want to ensure that drivers are at their best when out on the circuit but also on the roads.”
AlcoSense Managing Director Hunter Abbott, himself a racing driver and competitor in this year’s BTCC, said: “The likelihood of a driver being over the limit at a race meeting is low, but away from the circuit unintentional morning after drink driving is an issue which could affect anyone who drinks, even moderately. We wanted to give the drivers the tools to make an informed decision before taking to the wheel.”