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Christmas drink-drive cases increase

Motors | Published:

Many drivers are confused about the current drink-drive limit too

Reduced drink drive limit

Cases of drink-driving over the Christmas period are on the rise, according to new figures.

Offences in December for drink-driving grew by 16 per cent from 2017 to 2018, with some 4,761 drink-drivers caught during the month in 2018.

It equates to 154 offences per day and accounted for 8.5 per cent of the 56,000 drink-driving offences recorded during the year.

The figures were obtained from 40 UK police forces via a Freedom of Information request by insurance comparison site Confused.com.

The comparison site also conducted a survey of 2,000 UK drivers on the subject of drink-driving, with 36 per cent admitting that they were confused about the country’s current drink-drive limit. In addition, 37 per cent said that they would drive after having one drink, while 32 per cent said that they would be happy to take charge of a car after two drinks.

The current drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg per 100ml of blood, and 50mg per 100ml of blood in Scotland. The survey revealed that many people underestimate these limits, however; of those people surveyed who had been caught drink-driving at some point had been stopped the morning after they had been drinking.

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In addition, 16 per cent of people were unsure about how long to wait between their last drink and driving a car.

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.”

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