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More Than Quarter Of Drink-Drivers Caught Next Day - Christmas Warning

By Stephen Turvil | December 14, 2018


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Drink-drivers frequently caught the morning after boozing plus the legal limits, the penalties, and a stark warning

More Than Quarter Of Drink-Drivers Caught Next Day - Christmas Warning

Police catch thousands of drink-drivers

Christmas is the time of year crazy, selfish, drink-drivers get behind the wheel in the greatest number and many fall foul the morning after boozing, Confused.com research revealed. The price comparison specialist said that 28% of the offenders caught ‘at some point’ in their lives faced the consequences the next morning.

Further figures put the scale of the problem in perspective. In December 2017, for example, 5,551 reckless hooligans were caught drink-driving throughout The United Kingdom. That was more than any other month of the year. The annual total was 57,613 which represented a 2.0% rise compared to the previous year. In addition:

  • 5 times as many men offended as women 
  • Most offenders were caught in the north west

Drink-drive penalties and limits

More Than Quarter Of Drink-Drivers Caught Next Day - Christmas Warning Image 1

The Government confirmed that drink-drivers who jeopardise the lives of innocent people can face imprisonment, unlimited fines, and long bans. They might also have to resit the driving test to prove they are worthy of a licence. The table below confirms the legal limits within England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Level of alcoholEngland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath
Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood
Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood

Despite the limits, the Government said it is ‘impossible’ to confirm how much alcohol drivers can have before they break the law. There is no universal rule, in other words. Influencing factors include: gender, age, weight, metabolism, stress level, liver condition, what food has been eaten plus the type of alcohol.

Such factors also influence how quickly offenders break down the alcohol that makes them a menace. Once again, therefore, there is no universal rule. However, The National Health Service suggested that about 1 hour per unit is a fair benchmark (on average). It also confirmed roughly how many units drinks contain. For instance:

  • Wine 12% (175ml): 2.1 units 
  • Wine 12% (250ml): 3.0 units 
  • Beer, lager and cider 5.2% (pint): 3.0 units 
  • Beer, lager and cider 3.6% (pint): 2.0 units 
  • Spirit 40% (25ml): 1 unit 

Safety charity quantifies the risk

Brake is a road safety charity that argued motorists should not consume any alcohol. ‘Even very small amounts affect driving’, it said. It claimed, for example, that drivers that have 20 to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – which is far less than the limits - are ‘at least 3 times more likely’ to die via a crash. Furthermore:

  • 1 in 8 road deaths involve a driver over the limit 
  • The England, Wales, and Northern Ireland limit is higher than every country in Europe except Malta 

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