Hereford branded worst UK city for drink and drug driving

Analysis reveals the average UK drink-driving rate has decreased by more than a quarter in the last 12 months

Breathalyser test drink driving

Hereford has been identified as the worst UK city for drink and drug driving in the UK, with convictions last year at a rate of 2.30 out of every 1,000 motorists in the 12 months from 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018 – a year-on-year increase of 0.80.

Analysis also shows the overall drink and drug driving rate in the UK has decreased 29 per cent in the last 12 months, from 1.47 to 1.05 per 1,000. However, this doesn’t apply to 17 to 24-year-olds, for whom rates have risen by 10 per cent.

Following Hereford in terms of city rankings were Crewe and Blackpool in second and third place on 1.86 and 1.68 respectively, while Sunderland – which was ranked as the worst city last year – dropped down to fourth place with a rate of 1.62.

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In contrast, north-west London boasted the lowest drink and drug driving rate, with only 0.45 convictions per 1,000 drivers. Four other London postal areas also featured in the bottom ten – north (0.56), east (0.61), south-west (0.61) and west London (0.67).

Ranking (most convictions)Postal areaRate             
1Hereford2.30
2Crewe1.86
3Blackpool1.68
4Sunderland1.62
5Newport1.58
6Cardiff1.52
7Llandudno1.51
8Liverpool1.50
9Darlington1.48
10Telford1.47

The data – which came from a MoneySuperMarket analysis of over six million car insurance quotes – also revealed that outside of the UK capital, the lowest rates were found in Galashiels, Bradford, Perth, Cambridge and Luton.

In terms of gender, men are more than twice as likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol as women – 1.34 compared with 0.66 – with the rate of convictions for women dropping from 1.20 last year.

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Plumbers were the most likely profession to drink or drug drive – increasing 17.26 per cent year-on-year to 19.42. They were followed by mature students living at home on 5.93 and scaffolders on 5.32.

MoneySuperMarket data scientist Emma Garland warned: “With Christmas parties and festivities coming up, there is more chance of people getting behind the wheel under the influence as they may not realise how much alcohol they’ve had.”

Garland also said driving with a hangover is a “key factor, especially for those who may have particularly early starting times, such as labourers and plumbers”.

However, she also said it was “reassuring to see that convictions have decreased since last year”.

How can the UK Government combat drink and drug driving more effectively? Let us know in the comments…

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