The Government’s annual multimedia Xmas anti-drink drive campaign is a waste of money, according to road safety experts.

Aimed primarily at 17 to 29-year-old males and launched across TV, cinema, radio, outdoor and ambient media at the start of the month, the Think! campaign is toothless, says road safety champion GEM Motoring Assist, because of the lack of police powers when it comes to breath testing.

GEM says that the UK has one of the lowest screening rates in Europe as police resources are too often diverted away from breath testing motorists for drink driving. It is calling for a change in the law to increase police powers.

Britain’s police forces are keen to introduce evidential roadside breath testing whereby legally enforceable proof of drink driving is obtained on site without the need for a visit to a police station to give blood or urine samples, as is currently the case.

Legislation allowing evidential roadside breath testing has been in place for more than a year but its introduction has been delayed because the Home Office has not yet approved equipment to carry out the new tests.