July trumps December as worst month for drink-driving in Suffolk
- Credit: Simon Parker
More people were caught drink-driving in July than any other month of last year in Suffolk, according to new figures.
Despite Christmas being widely considered the worst period for drink-driving, more motorists were caught over the limit at the height of summer.
Figures showed February to be the leanest month for drink-driving detections by Suffolk police – with 46 offences recorded.
Compared to February, police dealt with an average of one more drink-driver every day of July, when 76 motorists were caught exceeding 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
According to Freedom of Information statistics, December remains the worst month UK-wide, with July coming second and February last on the list.
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A total 703 drivers were caught breaking the law in Suffolk in 2017 – compared to 1097 in Norfolk, where May and December were the busiest for enforcement.
A survey by Confused.com, which requested figures from all forces, found almost a fifth (17%) of 2,000 people had driven while knowingly over the limit – 24% doing so the morning after consuming alcohol, still feeling drunk, between 6am and 12pm.
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Further research showed the majority open to taking the risk – with 56% driving after having a drink in the summer months.
One in eight (12%) admitted causing an accident or near-miss by drink-driving, while 37% said motorists were more likely to drive after drinking in the sun.
Nationally, 18,969 men were arrested or convicted for the offence, compared to 3,358 women.
In June, Suffolk police launched a month-long campaign to crack down on drink-driving.
A spokesman said: “While summer is a time for relaxation and enjoyment, anyone considering risking driving home after drinking alcohol or under the influence of drugs should remember that if you are caught, you could face a minimum of a 12-18 month ban. However, deciding to drink and drive could cost you much more than just your licence – you could also receive a criminal record.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also significantly impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and increases the chances of you being involved in a collision.
“We continue to prioritise this type of offending and target drink and drug drivers all-year round. We also regularly run campaigns to tackle the issues, so our plea to motorists is to not even consider taking the risk but to make alternative travel plans.”
Confused.com’s Amanda Stretton said: “Sun and alcohol is a dangerous cocktail, and it clearly has an impact on numbers caught drunk behind the wheel.
“Drink-driving is a dangerous and punishable offence, which can seriously impact the safety of our roads and put other users at risk.
“We suggest drivers stop drinking early if they know they have to get behind the wheel in the morning, but the best advice would be to avoid drinking at all.”
Confused.com’s ‘morning after calculator’ lets users enter their drink of choice, how many glasses they had, and when they stopped drinking, to estimate when their body will be free of any alcohol.