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Hereford is the UK’s drink and drug driving capital

Written by: Emma Lunn
Hereford, Darlington, Llandudno and Liverpool have the highest drink and drug driving rates in the UK, with plumbers, builders and ground workers most likely to commit these offences.

MoneySupermarket has analysed the postcodes and professions with the highest rates of drink and drug-related driving convictions. The price comparison site’s analysis is based on more than six million car insurance quotes run on MoneySupermarket over the past 12 months.

It found there were 1.80 drink and drug driving convictions for every 1,000 drivers in Hereford, 1.69 in Darlington, 1.64 in both Llandudno and Liverpool, and 1.56 in Blackpool. The places with the least convictions were North West London (0.42), Galashiels (0.50), Perth (0.58) and Enfield (0.62).

Drink driving down, but drug driving on the up

The research also found that drink related offences continue to decline year-on-year, from 1.52 per 1,000 drivers in 2017, to 1.03 in 2018, to 0.87 this year.

However, drug driving offences are on the increase – from 0.06 per 1,000 drivers in 2017, to 0.11 in 2018, to 0.14 in 2019. Despite this, combined drink and drug driving conviction rates are down from 1.58 in 2017, and 1.14 in 2018, to 1.01 this year.

Men are more than twice as likely as women to be convicted of a drink or drug driving offence. When it comes to age, drivers between the age of 20 and 24 are the most likely to be convicted, while drivers over the age of 65 are the least likely.

The occupations most likely to offend

Plumbers have the highest level of drink and drug driving convictions, at 10.7 convictions per 1,000 drivers. Builders rank second at 6.6, followed by ground workers (6.5), labourers (6.1) and roofers (5.4).

Police officers (0.031), deputy head teachers (0.106) and doctors (0.184) feature amongst those with the lowest conviction rates.

Driving while over the limit

A fifth (19 per cent) of drivers have driven a car when they are over the limit – either intentionally or unintentionally, such as the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

Drivers of BMWs are the most likely to admit that they have driven under the influence (30 per cent), followed by drivers of Volkswagens (24 per cent) and Vauxhalls (19 per cent).

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySupermarket, said: “It’s good to see that the overall convictions for drink and drug driving are dropping. This could be a result of increased awareness about the effects of excessive drinking and a greater general focus on health and fitness.

“That being said, the Christmas party season is just around the corner and with that comes an increased chance of people driving while over the limit – often without realising. It’s not always easy to know when you’ve stepped over the legal threshold. Our research reveals that nearly one in five people know they have driven a car when over limit, either on purpose or by accident – for example, the morning after a night out.

“To avoid any uncertainty, if you think you’re over the limit, don’t take the chance. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk, a drink or drug driving conviction can result in a long time off the road and sky-high car insurance premiums.”

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