Confused.com press room

Drink-driving soars as sunshine and shandies form a lethal cocktail

New FOI data reveals more Brits are caught drink-driving during the summer months.

Posted on 20 Jul 2016

- New FOI data reveals more Brits are caught drink-driving during the summer months1 -

     • Last year (2015), police forces across the UK caught more than 9,0002 drink-drivers during the summer months (June, July, August). 
     • More than a third (31%) of people who have admitted to drink-driving did so during the summer months - more so than during any other season.
     • Nearly half (46%) of Brits are more inclined to drink when the sun is out.
     • Nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits who have been a passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence of alcohol have ended up being  involved in a car accident.

The great British summer is now upon us, with many raising a glass to toast the sunshine. However, new research released today from Confused.com reveals that summer is actually the peak season for drink-driving, with more Brits caught breaking the law during the summer months than any other1.

According to data obtained via FOI requests from police forces across the UK, last year (2015) more than 9,0002 motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol during June, July and August. Further research reveals that, of those motorists who have admitted to drink-driving (27%), nearly a third (31%) did so during the summer months - more so than during any other season.

And summer drink-driving appears to be a recurring theme year on year. In 2014, 9,8813 motorists were caught drink-drinking in the same period (June, July and August), with this figure even higher during the summer of 2013, at 10,5024. This summer peak in drink-driving may come as a surprise to some, with more inebriated drivers getting behind the wheel during this time of year than at Christmas – traditionally a time of boozing and jollity.

However, half of Brits (46%) admit they are more inclined to have an alcoholic drink when the sun is out. And the beer garden has been named as Brits’ favourite place to enjoy a drink (29%) in the sunshine, with over a third (36%) say it’s more tempting to go to the beer garden when the weather is nice. 

Other summer settings which seem to entice the British public to have a tipple include festivals, weddings and sporting events (38%). And the summer months are a peak time for these types of festivities. However, the worrying thing to note is that nearly one in 10 (9%) Brits say they get drunk quicker when they consume alcohol in the sunshine. This could well explain why the rate of drink-driving arrests soar when the sun is shining. 

And it would appear that motorists in Scotland are enjoying the summer festivities more than most. According to FOI data, the Scottish police force caught 8615 motorists driving under the influence of alcohol during the summer period last year – the highest amount caught by any police force in the UK. 

As the research shows, sunshine, drinking alcohol and driving can be a lethal combination – and many may have experienced the consequences of this dangerous cocktail. In fact, nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits who have been a passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence of alcohol have ended up being involved in a car accident

It may come as no surprise, then, to learn that many Brits feel strongly about drink-driving, with more than a fifth (22%) saying that there should be a ban on consuming any alcohol at all while driving. Nearly half of drivers (48%) claim that they would not drive even after just one alcoholic drink. 

However, this is not a feeling shared by all drivers, with some adopting a more blasé attitude to drink-driving. Worryingly, more than more than two-fifths of Brits (44%) admit that they would drive after one drink, if they felt ok. Perhaps more shockingly, almost one in 20 (4%) claim they would still drive even after a few drinks if there was no other way of getting home.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com says: “It may not come as a surprise to learn that in the summer, when people are outside in the sunshine, they may be more inclined to have a drink. However, some Brits are taking it that step too far and putting themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel. It’s worrying to learn that last year, during the summer months of 2015, more than 9,000 motorists were caught drink-driving.

“Many people might not realise that one drink could put someone over the limit, as alcohol tolerance depends on a number of factors including the person’s age, weight, gender and metabolism. Therefore, the only safe option is not to drink if you plan to drive.

“Motorists who do decide to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol need to be aware of all the repercussions. Drivers who are caught committing this offence are very likely to have their licences revoked and in the future, this could also affect the price of their insurance. Plus, if drivers are involved in an accident due to drink-driving, insurance companies could refuse the right to pay out as the driver could have invalidated their insurance policy.”

-Ends- 


Notes to editors
Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll research on behalf of Confused.com. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 1st July and 6th July 2016.

1. Confused.com also issued Freedom of Information requests to all 45 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales. Of these, 34 provided the information requested. The FOI request asked police forces for the number of people caught drink-driving broken down by month, so far in 2015, 2014 and in 2013 in their force area.

 - In the summer months (June, July & August) of 2013, 10,502 motorists were caught drink-driving, which is higher than any other season.
 - In the summer months (June, July & August) of 2014, 9,881 motorists were caught drink-driving, which is higher than any other season.
 - In the summer months of (June, July & August) of 2015 June, July & August, 9,305 motorists were caught drink-driving.

2. According to FOI data obtained from the police forces who responded to the FOI request, in 2015 there were 9,305 arrests for drink-driving in the summer months (June, July and August).

3. According to FOI data obtained from the police forces who responded to the FOI request, in 2014 there were 9,881 arrests for drink-driving in the summer months (June, July and August).

4. According to FOI data obtained from the police forces who responded to the FOI request, in 2013 there were 10,502 arrests for drink-driving in the summer months (June, July and August).

5. According to FOI data obtained from the police forces who responded to the FOI request, Police Scotland caught 861 drink drivers in the summer months of 2015.


Media information

For more information, contact our media team - pressoffice@confused.com

If your enquiry is time-critical, please write 'URGENT' in your email subject line. 
If you would like a ring-back, please remember to include your telephone number.

Confused.com media team 

Laura Buchan - Head of PR
laura.buchan@confused.com     Tel: 02920 434 238
Cerian Price - PR Executive
cerian.price@confused.com     Tel: 02920 434 295

About Confused.com

Confused.com is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. 
Confused.com was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, holiday insurance, pet insurance, small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, breakdown cover and gas and electricity, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an, objective and unbiased comparison service. 
By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. 

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Press team contacts

Press team Confused.com

For more information, please contact our press team.

Email: pressoffice@confused.com

If your enquiry is time-critical, please write "URGENT" in your email subject line. If you would like a ring-back, please include your telephone number. 

All the info you need - from our history to careers, and how we operate.

read more

Confused.com car insurance price index

Confused.com car insurance price index

The most comprehensive analysis of car insurance premiums in the UK – compiled by motoring experts just for you! How much will you be paying?

SEE TRENDS