Crewe tops drink and drug driving list for second year

It pays to be that extra bit vigilant on the roads as the festive party season approaches.

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For the second year in a row, Crewe has been named-and-shamed as the UK’s capital for driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

MoneySuperMarket’s research has highlighted which areas of the UK have the highest rates of drink or drug-driving related convictions on their car insurance policies. The analysis has been collated over the last 12 months and looked at 9.8 million car insurance quotes.

Crewe was at the top of the list once again, with a rate of 1.66 per 1,000 drivers. Although still the UK’s highest rate, it has dropped since last year – which saw 1.74 per 1000 people.

Welsh postcodes aren’t too far behind, dominating the top ten list with Llandrindod Wells, Newport, Swansea, Cardiff and Llandudno all guilty of having high conviction rates.

A new, unexpected entrant is Hereford – having 1.4 per 1,000 convictions back in 2015, to a dramatic increase to 1.52 this year. 

Although the vast majority of us are aware of the risks that come with driving under the influence, it seems that it doesn’t deter everyone.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert here at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Most people rightly view drink and drug-driving as totally unacceptable, but our analysis shows a small minority are still getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

“This could be because they forget alcohol can stay in the system for a long time after the party is over, leading to then being convicted the following morning when they think they are sober.”


Highest Amount of Offences, 2016

Rank  Postal Area  Postal Area Code   Rate
 1  Crewe  CW  1.66
 2  Llandrindod Wells  LD  1.55
 3  Hereford  HR  1.52
 4  Newport  NP  1.50
 5  Swansea  SA  1.49
 6  Cardiff  CF  1.48
 7  Blackpool  FY  1.44
 8  Carlisle  CA  1.40
 9  Plymouth  PL  1.38
 10  Llandudno   LL  1.38

London boasts low conviction rates

London has again come out with some of the lowest conviction rates when it comes to driving under the influence.

North London has the lowest rate, with just 0.53 motorists per 1,000 guilty of an offence, followed by North East and South West London. Other low conviction areas include Ilford, Luton and Bradford.

You can learn more about specific conviction rates using our drink and drug hotspot tool


Lowest Amount of Offences, 2016

Rank  Postal Area  Postal Area Code   Rate
 1  London NW  NW  0.53
 2  London N  N  0.54
 3  London E  E  0.56
 4  London SW  SW  0.65
 5  London W  W  0.68
 6  Luton  LU  0.74
 7  Bradford  BD  0.74
 8  London SE  SE  0.75
 9  Ilford  IG  0.77
 10  Romford  RM  0.82


MoneySuperMaket’s research also found that young people are setting a positive example, as the conviction rate for drink and drug driving is the lowest among 17 to 19 year olds

The analysis also found that men are more likely to drive under the influence with a rate of 1.31 per 1,000 convictions, as opposed to women who had 0.73 per 1,000 convictions.

A £5,000 fine could just be the beginning

Besides the fact drink and drug driving can lead to serious and fatal accidents, just being pulled over while under the influence can damage your insurance cover and cause a life-changing upheaval.

Those who are convicted of driving under the influence, can typically expect to see their premiums rise to around £470 upon renewal. Similarly, this conviction has to be declared when taking out insurance for a further five years.

If driving a company car, your employer will also become informed should you receive a conviction against drink or drug driving.

Staying safe at Christmas

The upcoming festivities mean an abundance of Christmas parties, family do’s and trips down the local, but festive merriment can soon turn sour because of one poor decision.

Last year it was estimated that 744,000 people drove while under the influence at Christmas and New Year.

In many cases, people simply do not think they are still under the influence, perhaps after having a drink at lunchtime and driving in the evening, or driving the morning after a party or dinner.

But if you’re not sure of your sobriety when hopping into the driver’s seat, just don’t drive. Similarly, if you’re around someone you know is driving, don’t pressure or try to persuade them to drink.

The minor, temporary inconvenience of not being able to drive for one night should be counted against a potential jail sentence, an automatic 12-month driving ban, points on your licence and an unlimited fine if convicted of drink or drug driving.

And, of course, there is the added factor that you’ll be endangering the lives of others.

By Frankie Sammut

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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