• Over 4,000 convicted drink drivers were caught driving while over the limit within three years of their first conviction
  • The drunkest driver so far in 2014 was 12 times over the legal limit
  • Drink driving arrests peak in December

While press campaigns and tough prison sentences are driving home the message that drink driving is socially unacceptable, new research from LV= has shown that a worrying number of drink drivers are reoffending within three years.

One in 60 drink drivers caught since 2010 had previously been banned for the crime, with official police and DVLA data revealing that over 4,000 drivers have received multiple disqualifications for a drink drive offence in the past four years.

Last year alone, more than 50,000 'high-risk' offenders (that’s on average 1,000 a week) were placed on DVLA's disqualification register. These are drink drivers who are more than 2.5 times over the legal limit, who have two or more drink drive offences within a 10-year period, or who refuse to give breath, blood or urine samples.

Moving in to December, arrests for drink driving peak in the run up to Christmas, fuelled no doubt by Christmas parties and busier social calendars. In fact, nearly 40% more drink drivers are caught during this month compared to an average month. Some argue that the stats are skewed by the general increase in patrols during the month – more patrols are likely to catch more drunk drivers. However, the fact you’re likely more likely to get caught should in itself act as a deterrent.

Some of the information gathered during the research is quite alarming. 2014's most drunk driver was caught by Bedfordshire Police with 423mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – that’s 12 times over the legal limit! Other statistics released by the Department for Transport this summer show that 230 people were killed in drink drive accidents in 2012, with around 6,630 accidents in 2012 linked to alcohol consumption.

Top 10 regions with the most drunk drivers in 2013

Police force Total number of drivers
caught drink driving in 2013
Central Scotland Police 5,637*
Greater Manchester Police 3,399
Thames Valley Police 2,865
Devon and Cornwall Police 2,457
Kent Police 1,981
South Wales Police 1,812
West Mercia Police 1,635
Essex Police 1,500
Merseyside Police 1,408
Nottinghamshire Police 1,396

*This is for all of Scotland

Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive – read more about the limits and consequences on the Think! website and make sure you drive safely this Winter.