posted 10 months ago

Drink-Driving At Xmas: 750,000 Expect To Drive While Over Limit

Hundreds of thousands of motorists expect to take to the road while above drink-drive limit, survey says.

744,000 Expect To Drive While Above Limit

Thousands of motorists expect to hit the road while above the drink-drive limit this Christmas risking their safety and others, Co-op Insurance claims. Its survey of 2,000 people shows that 18% - which equates to 744,000 motorists – plan to flout the law despite safety campaigns emphasising the consequences.

Drink Aware, for example, says: “Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive”. The survey also shows that whereas 45% of respondents expect to still be above the limit the morning after a night out; 26% might climb behind the wheel within hours of waking.


Motorists have a range of excuses to justify drink-driving. The most popular – as cited by 31% - is: “It will not harm anyone”. This is followed by: a taxi is too expensive (28%), I do not want to walk home (25%), I have done it before (20%), the roads will be quiet when I drive (18%), alcohol does not affect me (18%), and I can handle my drink (13%). Drivers in Wales seem most likely to offend with 27% expecting to flout the law. Wales is followed by: London (24%), South East (23%), West Midlands (23%), South West (17%), Yorkshire/Scotland (16%), North West (13%) and the East Midlands (8%).

Co-op Insurance is encouraging motorists on a night out to plan ahead to: “Lessen the risks on the roads”. Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance, argues: “The fact that over 740,000 drivers believe that they are going to be over the limit when they drive this Christmas is not only shocking but inexcusable. The effect of drink-driving is far reaching and can have devastating consequences for the drivers themselves, their passengers, other road users and their communities.”

Mr Ansley adds: “We are urging people to designate a driver this Christmas to ensure that everyone gets home safely.”


Motorists that flout drink-drive laws face a wide range of consequences. The Government confirms that those convicted of: “Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink” could receive 3 months imprisonment, a £2,500 fine and a ban.

This rises – for those convicted of: “Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink” - to up to 6 months imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and a 1 year driving ban (3 years if convicted twice in a decade).

The penalties rise considerably for drivers that cause death or injury.