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A Sobering Christmas Story

A Sobering Christmas Story


Motoring journalist, John Swift, takes at look at the drink drive statistics and wonders how anyone gets behind the wheel inebriated.

As Christmas approaches, it can be hard not to get carried away with the ‘festive cheer.’ If you’re thinking of driving home after celebrating with family, be extra careful if you’re in Llandudno, Blackpool or Liverpool which have topped a `name-and-shame’ league of convictions per 1,000 drivers for drink or drug related offences. If you plan on driving this Christmas, why not try having a no or low alcohol alternative or an alcohol-free mocktail – they are just as tasty.

Analysis by MoneySuperMarket of more than six million insurance quotes on its price comparison website, over the past 12 months, showed these three areas have the highest number of convictions.

Llandudno has the worst record with 1.58 convictions per 1,000 for drink/drug driving cases. Blackpool (1.57) and Liverpool (1.57) follow closely behind. At the other end of the scale, Ilford and Barking dominates the list of postcodes with the lowest conviction rates.

Vehicle on its roof after an accient seen in a rear view mirror

When it comes to gender, the data reveals that men (1.32) are more than twice as likely as women at 0.50 per 1,000 drivers to be convicted of a drink or drug driving offence. 

When it comes to age, drivers between the age of 20 and 24 (2.35) are the most likely to be convicted, with drivers over the age of 65 (0.10) being less likely. 

In terms of occupation, data quite clearly shows tradesman being the most commonly caught drink drivers. Plumbers are at the top of the list  to get behind the wheel while under the influence,with 10.7 in a 1000. Following closely by Builders with 6.6 in a 1000 and Ground workers with 6.5 in a 1000.

Emma Garland, data scientist at MoneySuperMarket, said: “With Christmas parties and festivities coming up, there’s more chance of people getting behind the wheel under the influence, as they may not realise how much alcohol they’ve had”.

White car being put on tow truck after drink drive accident

“Driving the next morning while unknowingly still over the limit is also a key factor, especially for those who may have particularly early starting times, such as labourers and plumbers. However, it’s reassuring to see that convictions have decreased since last year and hopefully they will continue to do so year on year”.

“Drink or drug driving can be damaging not only to your licence, but also to yourself and others - so if you’re doubting your sobriety, don’t put yourself or others at risk by driving, even if it seems like an inconvenience at the time”, added Emma.

Don't get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs:

  • A drink or drug driving conviction carries a ban of at least one year and an unlimited fine and can run to a six-month jail term.
  • An endorsement for a conviction remains in your licence for 11 years and you’re bound to declare the offence when applying for insurance for five years.  

Locations with the most drink drive convictions

Rank Town/City per '000 quotes
1 Llandudno 1.58
2 Blackpool 1.57
3 Liverpool 1.57
4 Darlington 1.48
5 Newport 1.44
6 Shrewsbury 1.43
7 Carlisle 1.42
8 Swansea 1.42
9 Cardiff 1.38
10 Teesside 1.37