FESTIVAL WARNING Drink Driving
FESTIVAL WARNING: Motorists “over the limit” driving home from festivals
– Confusion around drink-drive limits means motorists are being caught out THE MORNING AFTER drinking –
• Nearly one in five (18%) motorists find it confusing to know when you can drive after drinking – Confused.com’s morning after calculator explains just how long it can take for alcohol to wear off.
• Drink driving increased 9% between 2017 and 2018 – with festival season (June – Aug) accounting for 21% of offences in last year(1).
• 113 drivers were caught drink-driving PER DAY in July 2018, on average, making it one of the most prolific months for offences last year.
• The South East tops the list for offences, with more than 7,000 drink-drivers recorded throughout 2018.
As Glastonbury draws to a close and thousands head home from a music and booze-filled weekend, new research reveals festivalgoers could still be over the limit on their drive home.
The research, conducted by Confused.com, revealed nearly a third (29%) of festival-loving motorists have driven home the day after a music festival, with many still feeling the effects of alcohol. According to the survey, one in five (20%) felt hungover, while worryingly a further 6% still felt over the limit.
However, it is not just festivalgoers who are being caught out. The research finds many drivers are confused about how long it can take for alcohol to wear off. According to the survey, nearly one in five (18%) motorists are confused about how long they must wait before driving the morning after drinking.
To clear up any confusion, Confused.com has released a ‘morning after calculator’.
The calculator shows just how long I can take for alcohol to wear off. Users can tally up just how much booze they drank the night before, and the calculator will estimate how long they should wait to be safe to drive.
While many drivers think a good night’s sleep will do the trick, this is clearly not the case. In fact, more than a third (34%) of motorists who have driven after drinking alcohol felt over the limit. Of these, nearly one in four (24%) claimed they still drove because it was the morning after and they thought they would be fine. And of those who have been caught drink-driving at some point, more than one in seven (15%) said they were caught between 6am and 12pm.
The research comes as new data finds the festival season (June – August) accounted for 21% of drink-driving offences in 2018(1). According to Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com, 10,220 motorists were caught drink-driving between June and August last year, and a whopping 49,209 over the course of the year. This is a 9% increase in the number of offences in 2017, where 44,976 motorists were caught over the legal alcohol limit or driving under the influence, in comparison.
In particular, the data reveals July to be one of the most prolific months in 2018 for drink-driving offences. Almost 3,500 motorists were caught drunk-behind the wheel throughout the month. That equates to 113 drivers per day, on average. December tops the list with more than 4,000 drunk drivers recorded over the festive season.
Meanwhile, motorists in the South East may want to be extra cautious on the roads as it is revealed to be the worst region in the UK for drink-drivers. More than 7,000 offences were recorded in the region in 2018. Kent Police caught the most offenders in the region, reporting 2,312 over the course of the year. However, London is revealed to be the drink-driving capital of the UK having seen the highest number of drunk-drivers in one year. According to the data 5,625 motorists were caught over the legal alcohol limit by the Met Police in 2018 – the highest recorded by all police forces.
It is no surprise that the summer months see more drink drivers, given more than one in four (27%) drivers claim they are more likely to have a drink when the sun is out. And with many more festivals lined up over the coming months, no doubt there will be many hungover drivers on the roads. And it is because of this that many people avoid driving. In fact, one in 10 (10%) drivers will stay off the road the morning after a local festival because the traffic is bad, while nearly one in 10 (7%) are worried about dangerous driving. More than a fifth (22%) of drivers even believe that motorists should not drive after attending a music festival because they have consumed too much alcohol.
But having a few drinks at a music festival is all part of the experience for some people, and after a few days it can be difficult to keep track of just how much alcohol you are drinking. Staying overnight is always the safest option, but it can still creep up on you the next day. Confused.com urges all drivers to be mindful of their alcohol consumption if they know they must drive the next day. Alternatively, drivers could consider temp cover when travelling with friends or family, who might be in a better position to drive.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Knowing how long to wait between drinking and driving is confusing. This is why we’ve created a morning after calculator to help make it clearer just how long it can take for alcohol to wear off. And it’s longer than you think!
“Most of us like to enjoy a few drinks over the summer, especially at festivals. But we should be cautious if we’re driving the next day, as you can still be over the limit hours later. One way to avoid this risk by taking out temporary car insurance cover. This means a friend or family member can take control if they are in a better state to drive.
“Otherwise, we should always leave plenty of time between drinking and jumping behind the wheel. Better safe than sorry!”