- More than half of those (54%) who would report a drink driver to the police would do so even if they were an immediate family member
- Police data* reveals that 4,424 people were arrested for drink driving in December in 2012, down by 19% from 2011 (5,465 arrests)**
- Over a quarter of motorists (28%) admit to having driven whilst under the influence of alcohol
- One in six (17%) believe there should be a complete ban on drinking alcohol and driving
Nearly half of Brits (47%) would contact the police if they thought that someone that they knew was planning to drink and drive, according to new research from Confused.com released as Christmas party season peaks this weekend.
According to the findings from the leading price comparison site, Confused.com, responsible Brits are putting road safety over family ties, with more than half of those (54%) who said they would report a drink driver to the police admitting they would do so even if it was an immediate family member. A similar number (48%) would also shop a partner or spouse if they believed they were going to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
And it’s not just friends and family members that people would turn in, with more than three quarters of those who would name and shame a drink driver (77%) admitting that they would call the police if they saw a stranger at a bar or pub drinking then attempting to drive.
Some would even go a step further and publically name and shame a drink driver, with nearly one in 10 (8%) admitting that they would hand over the name of a drink driver to the media.
According to FOI data* obtained from Police Forces across the UK by Confused.com, last year more than 4,400 motorists were caught drink driving in December alone. However, the good news is that this figure appears to have decreased year on year, with recorded arrests down by 19% compared to the same month in 2011. (4,424 in December 2012 v 5,465 in December 2011).
However, despite this decrease many motorists are still getting behind the wheel after having a drink. The findings reveal that worryingly more than a quarter of motorists (28%) claim to have driven whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Many motorists are also unaware of their limits when it comes to alcohol, with four in ten (39%) admitting that they would get behind the wheel after having a drink if they felt ok. According to official guidelines, it takes about an hour for the body to break down one unit of alcohol, although alcohol tolerance depends on a number of factors including the person's age, weight, gender and metabolism.***
The research comes as Police Forces up and down the country are running campaigns encouraging members of the public to ‘name and shame’ drink drivers in their areas this Christmas. Local police forces are promoting rewards of up to £1,000 to help catch drivers who are over the alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs. Running until the New Year, the schemes will see posters placed in pubs and clubs urging drinkers to report those breaking the law to the police.
With more than one in six Brits (17%) favouring a zero-tolerance policy for drink driving calling for a complete ban on drinking any alcohol before driving, this year’s crackdown on drink driving will hopefully prove effective, leading to a further decrease in reported arrests year on year.
Gemma Stanbury, Head of Motor Insurance at Confused.com, says:
“We want passengers to turn down lifts from friends or family members who have been drinking and urge anyone who sees someone get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol to report it to the police. By passing information regarding drink drivers on to the police, members of the public could well prevent a family experiencing tragedy this Christmas, as well as leading to irresponsible motorists being brought before the courts.
“It’s a positive sign that so many Brits would act responsibly and inform the police if they believed someone was going to pose a risk to themselves and others by drink driving. The key to enjoying the festive season is to plan ahead and don't drive if you are not within the legal alcohol limits.
“Motorists who drink and drive may also be at risk of invalidating their insurance policies, as many insurers now have a clause which allows them to reserve the right to refuse to pay out in the event of an accident that occurs whilst the driver is under the influence of drink or drugs. Further repercussions for these convicted motorists might also include increased insurance premiums and difficulties in finding a provider to insure them, all of which are just additional reasons not to get behind the wheel after having a drink this festive season.”
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Notes to Editors:
Unless otherwise stated, all figures are taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll Research on behalf of Confused.com using an online poll of 2,000 nationally representative sample of UK adults, aged 18+. Conducted between 4 – 6 December 2013.
*Confused.com issued Freedom of Information requests to all 46 Police Forces in England, Scotland and Wales. Of these 29 responded. The FOI request asked Police Forces how many motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, broken down by month.
**According to Police Figures obtained via FOI, in December 2012, there were 4,424 recorded arrests for drink driving. In December 2011 there were 5,465 recorded arrests for drink driving. This is a decrease of 1.041, or -19%.
***According to the NHS http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/853.aspx?CategoryID=87 it takes one hour for the body to process a unit of alcohol.
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