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Here are a couple of scary facts: half a million police breath tests take place in Britain annually, and there are 100,000 drink driving convictions a year. Here are two more: 17 per cent of drink driving offences occur the morning after, and 51 per cent of drivers are unaware they could still be over the limit the next day. Obviously it’s utterly stupid to drink and drive, but how long do you have to wait to be sure of being safe? That’s where a personal breathalyser comes in very handy, as a reliable means of checking that you are under the limit. AlcoSense is a British-based company, endorsed by no less than Stirling Moss, and it makes a range of breathalysers at varying prices. This is the best: the award-winning Elite, a neat hand-held unit that is easy to use and very reliable. Some units can mis-read if you blow too lightly or excessively, but thankfully the AlcoSense Elite will throw up an error code indicating that you need
to change the way that you are using it. To ensure that it is giving a reliable reading
every time, there’s even a self cleaning system, and every device is tested for accuracy three times before it leaves the factory. Your driving licence is a precious thing, so don’t run the risk of driving while over the limit – buy a testing device that you can always rely upon.
You know the scenario: you have a week’s worth of groceries in supermarket plastic bags stowed in the car boot, and the first sharp turn round a corner sends them scattering. Or maybe you are off on a trip somewhere, and those weekend suitcases go sliding around as you drive. Some upmarket cars come equipped with restraint systems to hold things in place, but a good quality after-market product has been long overdue. Here it is: Bagrak – designed by Trevor Moss and developed with assistance from Leicester’s De Montfort University. It is an ingenious slot-together system to secure bags and other items in the boot. Flexible enough to suit most cars, it fits together without needing any tools for the task. The Bagrak unit comes complete with two smart-looking, heavy duty shopping bags, designed to fit directly into the frame, and additional bags can be bought separately for £5.00. It’s a clever solution to a common problem.
Jabra DRIVE in-car speakerphone
A lot of new cars come equipped with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, but what happens if you are running an older model, or forgot to tick the option box? Don’t worry; you can still talk and drive without breaking the law, thanks to a new in-car speakerphone courtesy of Jabra. It’s called the DRIVE, and lasts for an impressive 20 hours of talk time, or 30 days on standby, before you have to plug it in to recharge it. It’s easy to configure and it’s possible to connect two phones at the same time. There are large control buttons for the volume and to switch the system on and off, while there’s a voice guidance system to warn you of a low battery. The device weighs just 100 grammes, and its vital statistics are 104mm by 56mm by 18mm (Length, width and depth). An in-car charger, visor clip and a micro USB cable are all included in the £62.49 asking price. It’s available from Amazon, and online at www.buyjabra.com/UK.
0161 764 5981
£1.99 for one-litre bottle
With winter on its way, it’s even more important to ensure that your screenwash reservoir is topped up to the brim with fluid. But have you ever squirted it and had a strong and pungent smell of chemicals? Well CarPlan seems to have the answer to that little problem, with its new orange and apple fragrances. The one-litre bottle is diluted with water and added to your screenwash bottle located under the bonnet, and sends a more attractive aroma into the cabin when you squirt your washers. Like all other screenwash, it removes dirt, grime and bugs from the screen, leaving a clean surface. It is also designed for use in winter and has additives to stop the fluid from freezing. At £1.99 for a one-litre bottle, it is priced keenly and is available from Amazon and good car parts suppliers.