A significant minority of drivers would still get behind the wheel the day after a heavy night’s drinking, reveals new research as the annual Christmas party season kicks off.
According to the AA/Yonder survey of 13,068 drivers*, almost four in ten (38%) would not let being drunk the night before change their plans to drive.
Young drivers were the most conscientious about re-considering whether to drive the morning after and older drivers the least (79% vs 54%).
Young drivers were also the most likely age group to want to warn other new drivers about the dangers of drink driving.
The survey also found one third of 18-25-year olds chose ‘never drink-drive’ as the top piece of advice they would give to inexperienced peers (32%), the highest of any age category. Young drivers were also the most likely to choose ‘don’t tailgate’ as their top advice (8% vs 3% all ages).
Overall, one in four (28%) would impart the wisdom to never drink-drive, followed by making sure you drive to the conditions (16%) and always respect other road users (14%).
One in ten said their top advice for an inexperienced driver would be never use your hand-held phone while driving (11%). A further 9% said the best knowledge to pass on was to always wear your seatbelt. Other advice included knowing that speed limits are not targets (5%), making sure you learn basic car checks (2%) and not hogging the middle lane (2%).
A drink driving conviction can result in up to 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving for two years. Drivers who are caught tailgating or hogging the middle lane can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
There were 32,678 court cases for driving above the blood alcohol limit last year, increasing by 13.9% on cases in 2020 (28,667)**.
“The best way drivers can stay safe this festive season is to ensure if they are driving they do not drink, and if they are drinking they do not drive”
Edmund King, Director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “With the Christmas party season starting, many of us will be out socialising with friends and family.
“Everyone wants a Christmas to remember, but it needs to be for the right reasons.
“Drinking and driving simply do not mix. The best way drivers can stay safe this festive season is to ensure if they are driving they do not drink, and if they are drinking they do not drive.
“The fact not drinking and driving topped the list of advice experienced drivers would give to new drivers shows that for many drivers it’s really top of mind.
“The minority who might be tempted to drink and drive need to take notice. There’s no reason to take a chance – organise a lift, be the designated driver or book a taxi – but don’t drink and drive.”
Data breakdown: “If you were going to give advice to new drivers, what would your top advice be?”*:
- Don’t drink and drive (28%)
- Drive to the conditions (16%)
- Respect other road users (14%)
- Never use your hand-held mobile phone while driving (11%)
- Always wear a seatbelt (and your passengers) (9%)
- It’s a speed limit, not a target (5%)
- Learn to drive in a manual transmission (3%)
- Don’t tailgate (3%)
- Learn basic car checks (2%)
- Indicate (2%)
*AA-Yonder survey of 13,068 adults between 11th and 19th October 2022. Yonder is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
**Criminal Justice statistics: Criminal Justice System statistics quarterly: December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)