With Christmas just around the corner, many will perhaps drink more than usual and more often over the Christmas and New Year season.  But it’s not just drink – drug driving is also an issue too.

Not only do both put the safety of the driver and any passengers at risk, but it also endangers other road users and pedestrians..

We analysed more than 14 million car insurance quotes over 12 months, and found the total number of drink and drugs convictions declared on insurance quotations for main drivers was 76,968 - a rate of 5 convictions per thousand quotes.

Male drivers are the most likely to have a conviction on their licence for driving under the influence, with over 55,000 found to have a previous drink or drugs offence, a rate of 6.8 per thousand quotes compared to just under 16,000 females at 2.7 per thousand quotes.

Those aged 20 – 29 years old had the highest conviction rate, at 8.7 per thousand quotes, while older drivers are less likely to have a conviction, at a smaller rate of 1.1 per thousand quotes.

We found that there were some drink and drug driving ‘hotspots’ around the UK. The largest numbers of motorists with convictions are based in more rural areas, with South Wales (6.7 per thousand quotes), North Scotland (6.4 per thousand quotes) and Mid Wales (5.9 per thousand quotes) topping the convictions chart.

At the other end of the scale, motorists from London had the fewest convictions at a rate of 3.8 per thousand quotes.

Motorists in Harrogate, Hereford and Cardiff were found to be the worst offenders for drink and drug driving convictions, at a rate of 8.2 per thousand quotes, 7.3 per thousand quotes and 7.2 per thousand quotes respectively.

Every motorist should ensure they stick to the legal guidelines and not drive under the influence of drugs. If you get caught, there’s a fair chance it’s going to ruin your life.

There are serious consequences for flouting the law, with fines of up to £5,000, a 12-month driving ban and in some circumstances a possible prison sentence. Drivers may also see their insurance premiums rocket, even if they don’t get an outright ban, and some may find it difficult to find a provider who is prepared to insure them if they have a prior drink and drugs-driving conviction. 

For all the data on drink and drug-driving convictions, take a look at the infographic we’ve put together. http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/drink-and-drug-driving-offenders/