14 December 2011
This is my own personal nozzle. Any ideas what it's for?
It was a gift presented to me in the daft hours of Sunday morning by a kindly copper. Yep, after driving what I estimate to be 1.5 million miles in my life, in all weathers, at all hours, in all places, for all kinds of reasons, I was breathalysed for the first time.
It was Saturday night, and the cop had watched me, at 3am, leave the bar where I have my longtime residency. I managed 100 yards before the blue lights flashed behind me. After a cursory discussion about one of my tiny number plate lights being out, he brought out the breathalyser.
I'd been on soft drinks all night, as is the norm for me when working, and so the word ZERO emerged on the screen after I completed my little exhalation. I'd already informed him that a) I was the DJ as opposed to a punter; and b) I had been on diet Coke all night, but he still whipped out the in-car intoximeter. I should add that I didn't just belligerently offer these facts, but did so in response to his questions "where have you been?" and "have you drunk any alcohol?". Despite my latter reply, he still tested me out - and then looked a bit surprised when it traced no alcohol at all, as if he was used to dealing with inebriated liars.
He then reminded me about the number plate light and allowed me to go.
It's December, and every copper is doing it, of course, and quite right too. I'm just surprised it's taken so long for me to blow into the box for the first time. It nearly happened earlier this year in Manchester but the officer accepted my offer of a smell of my breath to save time and let me on my way. And yes, I'd been on the soft drinks all night again.
And, presumably for DNA-related reasons, I am now the proud owner of my own police breathalyser nozzle. I'm half-expecting to have gained quite a collection by the end of the festive season.
Poor Robin Tripp wasn't so diligent...