Police catch morning-after driversThu, 28 Nov 2013
POLICE are catching more "morning after" drink-drivers, according to latest figures.
The number of people arrested for drink-driving between 6am and 8am rose nearly 4% between 2011 and 2012, police statistics published by car insurance company LV showed.
A further survey of 1,688 drivers showed that 3% had driven while over the legal limit the morning after a drinking session in the last two years.
Of these morning-after offenders, 37% said driving was unavoidable, 26% said they were only going a short distance and 19% thought they were all right to take to the road.
Also, around 7% thought it was acceptable to drive as they were not on a motorway and 13% reckoned they were only a little over the limit so it did not matter.
The arrest figures were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and were based on replies from 22 of the 45 British police constabularies.
The statistics showed that 350 drivers were arrested for drink-driving between 6am and 8am in 2011, with this figure rising to 363 in 2012.
The police figures showed that, overall, drink-drive offences fell 4% in 2012 compared with 2011.
Of the police forces that gave information, Thames Valley had the most drink-drivers caught in 2011 and 2012 - a total of 4,783. Thames Valley has also recorded the highest number for the year to early November of 2,095.
For the years 2011 and 2012, South Wales Police caught the next-highest number of offenders (4,577), followed by Avon and Somerset (4,093).
The "drunkest" driver of 2013 so far has been a motorist arrested by Bedfordshire Police who was eight times over the legal limit.
The LV survey showed that 46% of drivers underestimated, or did not know how long, it took for alcohol to leave the body, while 30% of men and 19% of women admitted to having driven at least once after a heavy drinking session the night before.
LV car insurance managing director John O'Roarke said: "It's easy to assume that after a good night's sleep you will be sober enough to drive the next day but ,depending on how many units you've had, you may not be fit to drive.
"The key to enjoying the festive season is to plan ahead and don't drive if you are not within the legal alcohol limits."
By Peter Woodman, Press Association