Four in 10 people know a drink driver

Research finds 37 per cent of people have friends who they believe have driven while over the drink-drive limit

Some 37 per cent of people know someone who has driven while over the drink-drive limit, according to new data. 

Research shows 65 per cent of motorists believe there is more pressure in general to drink alcohol during the month of December and the Christmas period, while 28 per cent would be unprepared to try and talk a friend out of driving if they thought they were over the drink-drive limit.

• Average of 179 drunk drivers caught every day in December 2017

In contrast, nine per cent say they would warn a friend who was over the limit not to drive or they would call the police, while 43 per cent would attempt to persuade their friend to take alternative transport home, and even arrange a taxi and pay for it. 

Of the 1,865 motorists surveyed by the RAC – which is supporting the Government’s THINK! Christmas drink-drive campaign – 38 per cent claimed to have a zero-tolerance alcohol policy when driving to a social function, while 27 per cent say they would have one small alcoholic drink – such as half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine – and 10 per cent would have one large alcoholic drink – such as a pint of beer or a large glass of wine. A further two per cent said they would have two alcoholic drinks before driving home.


As for Christmas Day itself, 23 per cent of respondents said they would drink alcohol before driving, with 21 per cent driving home after spending the day with friends or family.

Some 81 per cent of respondents said they do not think they have driven while under the influence of alcohol in the last 12 months, but the proportion of those who admit they have has risen from eight per cent to 12 per cent. 

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Motorists aged between 25 and 44 are the most likely to admit to drink-driving, while residents of London and other city-dwellers are also more prone to the crime. 

RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams called drink-driving “unacceptable” and said “it ruins lives”. 

He added: “We urge everyone to think twice about driving to a social function and then drinking,” and reminded drivers that “going to sleep for a few hours doesn’t necessarily make you legally safe to drive”.

A separate poll of 2,000 drivers by AlcoSense revealed 24 per cent of motorists say they will drive home at Christmas after a few drinks if they feel sure they are under the drink-drive limit, while 14 per cent would drive if they felt close to the limit and seven per cent would still get behind the wheel if they thought they were at the limit or just over.

Click here to find out more about the UK’s drink-drive limit…

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