Direct Line unveils plans for the Brushalyser toothbrush breathalyser

Insurance company, Direct Line has revealed plans to launch what it claims will be the world’s first toothbrush breathalyser, an invention designed to help Brits avoid taking to the roads over the limit the morning after a night of consuming alcohol.

The Brushalyser aims to drive behaviour change by getting people to think twice before driving on a morning hangover, embedding breath testing seamlessly into their morning routines. Once finished brushing, users simply blow into the breathalyser on the back of the toothbrush; the light flashes red and vibrates if over the limit, and glows green if it’s safe to drive. The toothbrush is currently being tested for potential release in 2024.

The innovation comes after new research from Direct Line reveals that 25 per cent of British adults admit to driving the morning after a night out, despite feeling under the influence of alcohol. Younger drivers, aged 18 to 34, are the biggest offenders with 50 per cent confessing to getting behind the wheel the morning after a night out. Direct Line commissioned Opinium consumer research to poll 2,000 nationally representative UK adults who drive and drink alcohol in August 2023. The research also showed a lack of awareness when it comes to the law and limits, with 40 per cent of drivers admitting they don’t know the drink drive limit at all and 35 per cent saying they were unaware of the penalties if they were to be caught. One in 10 believe breakfast, coffee and sleep will sober them up enough to be fit to drive. 29 per cent of 18-34-year-olds believe if they don’t feel drunk the morning after an evening of drinking alcohol they are fine to drive. The company notes also that police Forces have reported an 8 per cent year-on-year increase in motorists failing breath tests in the morning hours.

“As one of the UKs leading insurers, we’re on a mission to make roads safer for everyone and it’s clear drivers need a wake-up call when it comes to drinking and driving,” said Lorraine Price, Head of Motor Insurance at Direct Line. “The breathalyser toothbrush aims to remind people they could be over the limit the morning after drinking, and ties breath testing seamlessly into Brit’s morning routines. We’re mindful this is in early development stages, but change is needed now, so we’re urging people to get clued up on how long it takes to sober up.”