Christmas drink-driving is on the rise

December drink-driving offences grew 16 per cent from 2017 to 2018, while 36 per cent of drivers are confused about the drink-drive limit

Breathalyser test drink driving

Drink-driving over the Christmas period is becoming more common, new figures have suggested, with 16 per cent more offences taking place in December 2018 than over the same period in the previous year.

Some 4,761 drink-drivers were caught in December 2018 - equivalent to 154 per day and accounting for 8.5 per cent of the 56,000 drink-driving offences that year - according to figures from 40 UK police forces, obtained by insurance comparison site Confused.com via a Freedom of Information request.

Drink-drive limits explained

Confused.com also conducted a poll of 2,000 UK drivers, of whom 36 per cent said they were confused about the country’s drink-driving limit; 37 per cent said they would drive after having one drink, while 32 per cent would feel safe behind the wheel after two drinks.

The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg per 100ml of blood, but only 50mg in Scotland. The data suggests people are underestimating these limits, though - of the respondents who had been caught drink-driving at some point, 46 per cent were stopped the morning after they had consumed alcohol. Meanwhile, 16 per cent of drivers said they were unsure how long to wait between drinking and getting behind the wheel.

Worryingly, 42 per cent of respondents admitted to driving while knowing or thinking they were over the limit, with motorists over the age of 55 the most likely to drink-drive and men three times more likely than women to do so. In addition, 24 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t judge another driver for offering them a lift home while over the limit.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “With many of us enjoying celebrations with friends and family, we need to clue up on the drink-drive laws, as it’s clear so many people are taking the risk and driving after a drink.”

She added: “Ultimately, jumping behind the wheel after a drink is putting yourself and other road users at risk. Not only this, but it can land you with a fine or driving ban. If you’re drinking, don't drive. If you’re driving, don't drink.”

Do you think Christmas is the worst time for drink-drivers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below... 

Recommended

Treasury eyes up road pricing to plug £30bn fuel-duty gap
News

Treasury eyes up road pricing to plug £30bn fuel-duty gap

The UK’s Petrol and diesel car ban will bring with it huge losses for the Treasury as fuel-duty revenue dries up; road pricing looks set to be the sol…
17 Nov 2020
Road bosses approve 138 miles of new smart motorway with no hard shoulder
smart motorway
News

Road bosses approve 138 miles of new smart motorway with no hard shoulder

Nine new sections of all-lane running smart motorway are set to open despite concerns over the lack of a hard shoulder
9 Nov 2020
Fiat-Chrysler faces £5bn UK lawsuit over defeat devices
Fiat Doblo 2015 - steering wheel
Fiat

Fiat-Chrysler faces £5bn UK lawsuit over defeat devices

Around half a million FCA-engined vehicles in England and Wales could be affected by diesel emissions scandal, says law firm
27 Oct 2020
Dash cam portal saves 170,000 hours of police time in two years
News

Dash cam portal saves 170,000 hours of police time in two years

Nextbase's National Dash Cam Safety Portal is used by 33 police forces and has recorded more than 20,000 uploads
21 Oct 2020

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020