RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

‘Warm-weather drinkers’ endangering UK roads

8th August 2014 Print
Beer garden

More than half (54%) of drink drivers offend during the summer months, according to new research from

The findings from the price comparison site reveal that nearly a third of British motorists (29%) have driven when drunk, with the majority (54%) doing so during the summer. In fact, according to FOI data obtained from Police Forces across the UK by, 10,917 motorists were caught drink driving during the summer last year (June, July and August).

More than half of motorists (51%) believe that there is more temptation to drink alcohol during the summer months, with nearly a third (31%) admitting that they find it more sociable to enjoy a drink at this time of year. However, this combination of warm weather and a busy social calendar is creating a dangerous cocktail for road users.

Worryingly, according to research one in eight people (12%) admit that they get drunk quicker when they consume alcohol in the sunshine. Many motorists are also unaware of their limits when it comes to alcohol, with nearly four in ten (38%) admitting that they would get behind the wheel even after having a drink if they felt ok. According to official guidelines, it takes about an hour for the body to break down one unit of alcohol, although alcohol tolerance depends on a number of factors including the person's age, weight, gender and metabolism.

Despite Police Forces up and down the country clamping down on drink drivers over the summer months, many motorists are still unable to resist the lure of a warm pub beer garden or quick drink in the sunshine with friends. In fact, the beer garden has been named as Brits’ favourite place to enjoy a drink (28%), which perhaps helps to explain why the summer months’ see a spike in drink driving related incidents.

However, with more than a fifth of Brits (22%) favouring a zero-tolerance policy for drink driving calling for a complete ban on drinking any alcohol before driving, this year’s summer crackdown on drink driving by Police Forces across the country will hopefully prove effective.

There is however a worrying disparity between those who admit to drink driving and those actually being caught. Despite the worrying number of motorists admitting to getting behind the wheel after having a drink, less than on in 10 (8%) say they have actually been caught by Police when doing so. And these reckless drivers are endangering the lives of other road user, with one in 14 people (7%) having been involved in an accident caused by someone driving whilst under the influence or alcohol

Drink Driving Offenders by Police Force (June/July/August 2013):

To help Brits work out the units in their alcoholic drinks, have created this nifty calculator, to try and help combat drink driving this summer.

Gemma Stanbury, Head of Motor Insurance at, says: “This is the time of year that many people choose to throw an impromptu barbecue or spend a sunny afternoon in a beer garden or social gathering.  It’s all too easy to forget the amount of alcohol consumed throughout an afternoon and/or evening and how much remains in the system the following day. 

“Some people think that drinking and driving is a problem just at Christmas, however it is an all year round issue. The only safe option is not to drink if you plan to drive. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely as your reaction times are impaired and you are unable to judge speed and distance accurately.

“Motorists who drink and drive may also be at risk of invalidating their insurance policies, as many insurers now have a clause which allows them to reserve the right to refuse to pay out in the event of an accident that occurs whilst the driver is under the influence of drink or drugs. Further repercussions for these convicted motorists might also include increased insurance premiums and difficulties in finding a provider to insure them, all of which are just additional reasons not to get behind the wheel after having a drink this summer.”

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Beer garden