Drink driving spike expected in December with figures revealing South East as second highest region for the offence last year

Picture supplied by Sussex Police SUS-180724-153955001
Picture supplied by Sussex Police SUS-180724-153955001

As police launch their seasonal crack-down on drink drivers it has been revealed that the South East was the second highest region for drink drive offences last year.

They also show the spike in drink driving offences in December. More than 5,500 drivers were caught drink-driving in December 2017 – more than any other month of the year, with 179 drivers caught drunk behind the wheel per day across the country in December.

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More than a quarter (28%) of motorists caught drink-driving said this occurred the morning after drinking as 15% of drunk-drivers have been caught between the hours of 5am and 11am.

Men are five times more likely to drink and drive than women, with 34,886 men caught drunk behind the wheel in 2017, as opposed to 7,061 women.

In total, 5,551 drunk-drivers were caught over the course of last December, accounting for 10% of the UK’s total drink driving offences. That’s according to new Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com from 41 UK police forces. In total, 57,613 motorists were caught drink-driving last year (2017). This is a 2% increase from 2016, which saw 56,745 offenders caught, in comparison.

Further research by Confused.com reveal there are many fuzzy-headed motorists who are driving the morning after a night of drinking. Almost one in 20 (4%) UK drivers have been caught driving over the legal alcohol limit at some point, of which, more than one in four (28%) cases happened the morning after drinking. In fact, more than one in seven (15%) drunk-drivers say they have been caught between the hours of 5am and 11am.

With so many motorists falling foul of drunk-driving, despite catching a few hours’ sleep, Confused.com has created a ‘morning after calculator.’ which can be found on its website.

This can help drivers find out how much alcohol could still be in their system after a night of drinking, and estimate how long they’ll have to wait before it leaves their body.

And given almost a fifth (19%) of UK drivers find it confusing knowing how long they must wait before they can drive after having an alcoholic drink, the calculator could give some clarity before they jump behind the wheel and face the blue flashing lights. However, a worrying 28% of motorists admit to driving their car the morning after a night out, despite still feeling ‘over the limit’, leaving just six hours between drinking and driving, on average.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “There are a worry number of people confused about how long they should wait between drinking alcohol and driving, and this has led to thousands of motorists being caught drunk behind the wheel each month.

“With December and Christmas party season just around the corner, we’ve created a morning-after calculator that gives an idea as to how much alcohol is still in your system, and how long it typically takes to leave your body to give a quick indication of when you might be safe to drive.

“Drink driving can seriously impact the safety of our roads and put other road users at risk. Not only this, but it can land drivers with a fine or driving ban, which can have a negative impact on their car insurance premiums. To avoid getting caught out, we suggest drivers stop drinking early if they know they have to get behind the wheel in the morning, but the best advice would be to avoid drinking alcohol at all.”

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