The fatal guesswork of Yorkshire’s drink-drivers

A motorist is stopped by drink-drive police.
Picture: John Giles/PA Wire

A motorist is stopped by drink-drive police. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire

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Yorkshire and The Humber is one of the worst offenders when it comes to drink-driving, according to a new study.

A poll by AlcoSense Breathalysers found that the region was just a few points behind the South West for admitting to driving under the influence of alcohol.

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It revealed 52.1 per cent of drivers in our county had owned up to drink-driving.

The survey also revealed the extent of drink-driving the morning after and highlighted when people thought they’d be safe to drive after a ‘skinful’ at a New Year’s Party. Nearly half of the those surveyed admitted to having driven while over the limit in the past, 31.4 per cent unintentionally the morning after. But an astonishing 12.6 per cent had driven over the limit intentionally.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense Breathalysers, said: “It’s easier than you might think to still have alcohol in your system the morning after a few drinks the night before - and unintentionally drink drive the next day. But it’s not just about being under or over the limit. Studies show that if you drive while having only one-eighth of the English drink drive limit in your system, you are 37 per cent more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when sober.

“Everybody’s different and will process alcohol at differing rates. It’s almost impossible to accurately estimate when you’ll be clear the morning after so it’s better not to take the risk and use an accurate personal breathalyser the morning after to take out the potentially fatal guesswork.”

A quarter of those surveyed thought that those who drink drove the morning after the night before should get a lesser penalty than those who drink drive the same evening because they may be doing it unintentionally. Bizarrely five per cent thought it was less dangerous to drink drive the morning after than in the evening but 67.5 per cent thought morning after and evening drink-drivers should be treated no differently.

PARTY DRIVERS’ GIANT HEADACHE

The AlcoSense Breathalysers’ survey also quizzed drivers about when they felt they were safe to drive after new year’s drinks.

When asked to estimate how long it might take to clear the alcohol consumed on New Year’s Eve to clear their system, one in three underestimated when they would be clear on New Year’s Day.

And surprisingly, 8.9 per cent of people surveyed said they thought it would be safer to drive the day after New Year’s Eve if they’d been drinking at home, rather than if they had gone out and consumed the same amount of alcohol.

Wendy Fawell.

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