30 December 2016
Nearly two-thirds of drink-drivers arrested in the run-up to and during the past three Christmases were at least twice over the alcohol limit. That means the vast majority must have known or been reasonably certain that they posed a danger before they hit the road, AA research reveals.
The vast majority must have known or been reasonably certain that they posed a danger before they hit the road
Freedom of information responses from 10 police forces in England reveal that, from November to December in 2013, 2014 and 2015, 5,621 drivers were arrested after failing a breath test for alcohol. Of those, taking into account sentencing guidelines:
- 36.1% were over the limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath and faced driving bans of 12-16 months
- 41.5% registered twice the limit and faced bans of 17-22 months
- 18.2% were three times the legal limit and faced bans of 23-28 months with community orders
- 4.3% were four times the limit and faced bans of 29-36 months, and high-level community orders or 12 to 26 weeks in custody
Those offending for the second time in 10 years lost their driving licences for at least 36 months, up to a maximum of 60 months.
Edmund King OBE, president of the AA, said: “We have always been aware that there are more temptations to drink drive prior to Christmas but what we didn’t know, until we analysed these figures, is the terrifying fact that the majority of these drink drivers are way over the limit. Almost one fifth of offenders were three times over the limit, whilst four in ten were twice the limit. These people knowingly got behind the wheel when drunk.
We need these hard-core offenders to be targeted by the police and banned from our roads for long periods
“We need these hard-core offenders to be targeted by the police and banned from our roads for long periods. With so many drinking way above the limit, it is highly likely that friends and family would know these drivers are getting behind the wheel over the limit. We all have a responsibility to try to stop these people driving and, if they can’t be persuaded, they should be reported. Nearly two-thirds of drink drivers caught were more than twice the limit which is frightening.”