BTCC introduces mandatory breath-tests

BTCC becomes first motorsport series to introduces compulsory breath tests

The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) has announced it will introduce mandatory breath-testing to ensure all drivers and senior officials are free from the effects of alcohol in their system.

While organisers say that anyone involved in the BTCC is unlikely to risk the safety of themselves or anyone at a race by consuming alcohol, it is possible that drinking the night before an event could put them over the limit the following day.

Over recent years, many police forces have been cracking down on motorists who drive over the limit not realising the effects of the night before.

But, unlike the police, who allow a maximum of 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, a strict zero tolerance limit will be imposed by BTCC organisers TOCA.

Any drivers or officials who fail the breath test will not be allowed to participate until they pass the test.

The first breath tests will take place at the next BTCC event at Oulton Park on 7/8 June, using calibrated AlcoSense breathalysers. They will take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings of every event.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “As the UK’s premier motor racing series the BTCC should continue to set benchmarks and this is another important step we can take. Whilst random breath-testing does happen on occasion at various motor sport events, the BTCC is the first championship to mandate the zero-tolerance limit and back this up with compulsory testing each day at each event.

“It’s difficult to calculate when alcohol has cleared your system as everyone is different – but in the last ten years the occurrence of ‘morning after drink driving’ road accidents has risen from 13% to 21%.

“Education is key and by pioneering this mandatory testing we believe the BTCC will raise more awareness of the dangers and help keep its drivers, officials and fans, safe – not only at the circuit but on the road.”