New Year’s Day is the worst day of the year for drink-driving offences according to Confused.com.
Freedom of Information data from 31 of the UK’s police forces revealed 246 people were charged with drink driving on New Year’s Day in 2016 – more than any other day so far this year.
New Year’s Day has historically been the worst day for drink driving in previous years with 105 drivers charged in 2014 and 73 caught in 2015.
This data clearly demonstrates drink driving on New Year’s Day is on the rise again, with the amount of convicted motorists tripling in the last year alone.
Further research reveals almost half (45%) of British drivers admit to having consumed an alcoholic beverage before driving.
Although only one in five (20%) of these have been pulled over and breathalysed by the police, 21% of those who have been caught drink driving were stopped the morning after, between the hours of midnight and 10am.
This suggests many of the drivers caught on New Year’s Day were in fact still over the limit from the night before.
With almost half (48%) of drivers who drink alcohol waiting only one or two hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage before driving, it would seem these motorists are confused by how long it can take for their bodies to process alcohol. Nearly one in five (18%) of these drivers only wait half an hour after a drink before driving.
When it comes to checking whether they are under the legal limit before driving, almost two-thirds (61%) of motorists who drive after having a drink do not use any formal methods of checking the level of alcohol in their blood. In fact, only one in 20 (4%) use a breathalyser to make sure they are safe to drive.
For those who insist on having a drink to celebrate the New Year, it can be easy to shift the blame to the lack of public transport available.
With the early hours of New Year’s Day being notoriously difficult to get a taxi in most areas of the country, one in eight (12%) drivers who drink alcohol use this as an excuse for getting behind the wheel themselves.
Almost two-fifths (39%) of motorists who have consumed alcohol before driving say cheaper taxi fares would make it easier for them to avoid driving under the influence, while more than a quarter (28%) say they would benefit from public transport operating later into the night.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said, “It’s shocking to discover New Year’s Day is the worst day for drink driving offences.
“With many drivers not realising just how long it can take for alcohol to pass through your system, these convicted motorists are clearly being caught the morning after.
“Simply not feeling drunk isn’t a guarantee you’re sober enough to drive. Even one drink during New Year celebrations could put someone over the limit. Alcohol tolerance depends on a number of factors including the person’s age, weight and metabolism, so a breathalyser result can vary significantly from person to person.
“Although it is notoriously difficult to find public transport after a busy New Year’s night out, it’s important to not allow temptation to get the better of you. Plan ahead and pre-book your taxis or research public transport. It’s really not worth starting the year with a driving ban and a night in the cells.”