Ten per cent of people admit driving while still drunk from the night before

Drivers have been warned to be responsible this Christmas as figures revealed that ten per cent have been behind the wheel while still over the limit from a heavy night’s drinking.

Dec 14, 2017

Drivers have been warned to be responsible this Christmas as figures revealed that ten per cent have been behind the wheel while still over the limit from a heavy night’s drinking. Around five million motorists admitted to drink-driving at least once in the last year, the RAC found. But eight per cent believed they had driven while still under the influence from the previous evening – and two per cent were sure they had. Another eight per cent admitted that they had probably driven over the limit shortly after having a drink. The road safety charity said anyone who thinks they have sobered up after just a few hours’ sleep “may just be about to ruin someone else’s Christmas as well as their own”. The average person takes three hours to process a large glass of wine or two to process a pint of beer, according to the NHS. However, this can vary based on a person’s gender, age and weight, meaning a few hours’ sleep may not be enough to clear all the alcohol from their system. The five million motorists who admitted drink-driving in 2017 is equivalent to around 16 per cent of the total. Londoners were the worst culprits as 26 per cent believe they have driven under the influence, compared with 11 per cent in rural areas. The overall figure marks a reduction on the 20 per cent of motorists who believed they were guilty of drink-driving in 2016. This is still an increase from the 11 per cent who confessed in 2012, but the RAC believes this may be due to better awareness. Government figures show the number of casualties from road accidents where at least one driver was drunk has remained relatively steady between 2012 and 2016. The RAC also claimed six in ten British motorists are in favour of reducing the blood-alcohol limit to 50 milligrams per 100ml or even lower. RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams said: “The dangers of drink-driving are truly horrific and should never be underestimated. Never have the words ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ been more appropriate. “Apart from the obvious dangers of being involved in accidents when drink-driving, police forces will be actively targeting drink-drivers during December so anyone found to be over the limit risks losing their licence as well as a hefty fine.”

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