Llandrindod Wells, Blackpool and Crewe are the worst places in the UK for drink and drug driving convictions, our exclusive data has revealed. Looking at 11 million quotes run over the past year, we’ve identified the worst offending postcodes for driving under the influence. Worryingly, we’ve also found that, when compared to last year, the number of people driving after drinking or taking drugs could be on the rise. Here's a closer look at what our data-mining uncovered, and the extent of drink driving in the UK…
All’s not Well in Wales
Breaking the drug and drink-driving laws will land you with a driving ban of at least 12 months, a fine of up to £5,000 and, in some cases, a prison sentence of up to six months. The message still isn’t getting through to everyone, though. The mid-Wales town of Llandrindod Wells has knocked last year’s worst offender, Aberdeen, off the top spot with the highest proportion of offences for drink and drug-driving. In the LD postcode, there were 1.9 convictions per 1,000 drivers, compared to the Scottish city’s 2013 score of 1.5. Blackpool (FY) and Crewe (CW) take the second and third spots, both with conviction rates of 1.8 per 1,000 drivers.
Capital offences – or the lack of them
Meanwhile, London dominates the charts for the fewest convictions. Half of the top 20 are postcodes within the M25 and on the periphery of central London – no doubt a consequence of good public transport links. Kevin Pratt, our car insurance expert, said: “In a rural location such as Llandrindod Wells it could be the lack of public transport and the misguided belief they won’t get caught that’s leading people to drink and drive. Or maybe motorists are driving the morning after the night before, when they still have excess alcohol in their system. “Whatever the circumstances, the fact remains that driving while over the limit is always illegal – there is simply no excuse.”
Convictions according to occupation
We’ve also broken down convictions by profession, and found that workers laying Tarmac are the most likely to be caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs – perhaps because they start early in the morning with alcohol in their system from the night before – while typists are the most law-abiding.
‘Face the consequences’
Men are more than twice as likely to drive after drinking or taking drugs as women, says the data, while drivers in their early twenties (aged 20-24) are most likely to offend, with 2.5 convictions per 1,000 motorists. Peter Rodger, chief examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “It’s nearly 50 years since breathalysers were introduced yet incredibly there are still people drink-driving and putting lives at risk. “Motorists have to face the consequences of their actions. Even after a ban is served, a conviction will see insurance premiums shoot up by an average £350 – which is more than the cost some people’s policies in the first place. “The message is really simple. If you are driving, don’t drink at all. If you are drinking, don’t drive at all.” That advice is especially useful for motorists taking to Scotland’s roads from December 5, when the legal limit is being reduced from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood to just 50mg, which effectively means just one drink could be enough to push you over the limit.