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Risk of being caught drink driving increases at Christmas

Don’t risk it!

Half of drivers believe that drink drivers are more likely to be caught at Christmas

1 December 2018

Half of drivers (48%)*, expect that those who drink and drive are likely to be caught at Christmas, compared with only one in three (30%) who say offenders are likely to be caught throughout the year, according to a poll by the AA.

The survey of more than 20,000 drivers also found that a third (35%) believed that those who had taken drugs would be more likely to be caught over the festive period than over the remainder of the year (22%).

Busy city centre dual carriageway junction

Similarly, offences like using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt, careless driving and driving a defective vehicle are more likely to be enforced over Christmas than at any other time of year. And if a driver is involved in a collision, whether their fault or not, they are almost certainly going to be breathalysed.

Conversely, drivers say bus lane infringements are less likely to be captured over Christmas, while the likelihood of being caught speeding, driving without insurance and traffic light offences are believed to be consistent throughout the year.

The findings come as the AA launches its annual drink drive campaign and are telling drivers ‘Don’t risk it!’

According to the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, 220 people died and 6,070 were injured in all reported drink driving accidents.

More than a third (35%) of drink drive casualties occur between 21:00 and 02:00, hours when people would usually be leaving Christmas parties. 

In 2016, one in 10 (10%) drink drivers in England and Wales were at least twice the legal limit, doubling to a fifth (20%) in Scotland.

More temptations at this time of year

Edmund King, AA president says; “There are more temptations to drink and drive at this time of year but it should be avoided at all costs as it could cost your licence, your livelihood or your life. 

There are more temptations to drink and drive at this time of year but it should be avoided at all costs as it could cost your licence, your livelihood or your life
Edmund King, president of the AA

“For years, police forces have put huge efforts into targeting drink driving, and their hard work is paying off as half of drivers feel there is more chance of being caught over the festive period. Therefore the message is simple – Don’t risk it!

“If you are going to drink, don’t drive and if you are going to drive, don’t drink. 

“As we see more police on the roads this month, it also increases the likelihood of prosecutions for other offences, such as using a handheld mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt. We want everyone to make it home for Christmas.”


* Populus received 20,410 responses from AA members to its online poll between 13 and 19 November 2018

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