The great British summer is now upon us, with many raising a glass to toast the sunshine.
However, research released today from Confused.com confirms that summer is actually the peak season for drink-driving, with more Brits caught breaking the law during the summer months than any other.
According to data obtained via FOI requests from police forces across the UK, last year (2015) more than 9,000 motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol during June, July and August. Further research reveals that, of those motorists who have admitted to drink-driving (27%), nearly a third (31%) did so during the summer months – more so than during any other season.
|Summer drink-driving appears to be a recurring theme year on year. In 2014, 9,881 motorists were caught drink-drinking in the same period (June, July and August), with this figure even higher during the summer of 2013, at 10,502. This summer peak in drink-driving may come as a surprise to some, with more inebriated drivers getting behind the wheel during this time of year than at Christmas – traditionally a time of boozing and jollity.||
Welsh drinking more
|Welsh drink-drivers caught during the summer months of 2015 (June, July and August) were 1013 while those caught during winter months 2014/15 (December 14, January 15, February 15) were less at 994.|
However, half of Brits (46%) admit they are more inclined to have an alcoholic drink when the sun is out. And the beer garden has been named as Brits’ favourite place to enjoy a drink (29%) in the sunshine, with over a third (36%) say it’s more tempting to go to the beer garden when the weather is nice.
Other summer settings which seem to entice the British public to have a tipple include festivals, weddings and sporting events (38%). And the summer months are a peak time for these types of festivities.
However, the worrying thing to note is that nearly one in 10 (9%) Brits say they get drunk quicker when they consume alcohol in the sunshine. This could well explain why the rate of drink-driving arrests soar when the sun is shining.
It would appear that motorists in Scotland are enjoying the summer festivities more than most. According to FOI data, the Scottish police force caught 861 motorists driving under the influence of alcohol during the summer period last year – the highest amount caught by any police force in the UK.
As the research shows, sunshine, drinking alcohol and driving can be a lethal combination – and many may have experienced the consequences of this dangerous cocktail. In fact, nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits who have been a passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence of alcohol have ended up being involved in a car accident.
It may come as no surprise, then, to learn that many Brits feel strongly about drink-driving, with more than a fifth (22%) saying that there should be a ban on consuming any alcohol at all while driving. Nearly half of drivers (48%) claim that they would not drive even after just one alcoholic drink.
However, this is not a feeling shared by all drivers, with some adopting a more blasé attitude to drink-driving. Worryingly, more than more than two-fifths of Brits (44%) admit that they would drive after one drink, if they felt ok.
Perhaps more shockingly, almost one in 20 (4%) claim they would still drive even after a few drinks if there was no other way of getting home.