It was a momentous month 50 years ago, as the UK saw the introduction of roadside breath tests for suspected drink drivers.
The measures were introduced as part of the Road Safety Act 1967, authored by Barbara Castle but they weren’t very well received, with many complaining the new checks represented an attack on personal liberty and some publicans claiming it would put them out of business.
Our archive picture was taken in Leeds on September 20 and shows Chief Inspector Douglas Wright (standing), watching one of his class, PC Peter Farrell, from the Traffic Department, test the breathalyser device.
The following week, the Ministry of Transport launched a £300,000 educational campaign, running to the end of the year, to publicise the new law.
The Road Safety Act came into effect on Monday October 9, after which any driver found to have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood would be liable on a first offence, to receive a £100 fine or four months imprisonment (or both).
Disqualification from driving for a minimum of one year was automatic except in very special circumstances. The legal limit of 80mg in 100ml of blood remains to this day, although legislation has also been introduced to cover other substance abuse and to tighten up so-called ‘loopholes’, which enabled some drink drivers to evade prosecution by opting to have a blood or urine sample tested instead.
Our second picture was taken on September 6, 1967, at Elland Road. It was Leeds v Zagreb in the Fairs Cup Final final leg, when Belfitt headed the ball over the line but the “goal” was disallowed because of an infringement on the Zagreb goalkeeper.