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Drink-drivers confess to a variety of tactics to avoid being caught

17 November, 2017

Driving Drunk banner
  • First4Lawyers surveyed 2,000 drivers ahead of Road Safety Week and Christmas to explore bad driving habits in the UK
  • Data reveals that 29% of drivers confess to drink driving
  • Drink drivers confess to a variety of tactics they use to avoid being caught, including taking the back roads, spraying perfume/aftershave, and eating a heavy meal in attempt to soak up the alcohol
  • Drivers admit to using phones while driving including making calls, sending texts, using Snapchat and even taking selfies
  • 70% admit to going over the legal speed limit despite the increase in fines
  • 69% confess to slowing down just for the cameras and speeding back up again afterwards

Ahead of Road Safety Week (20th-26th November) and the Christmas period, motoring offence experts at First4Lawyers surveyed 2,000 drivers to explore bad driving habits in the UK. The study reveals that drink driving continues to occur, as does speeding and using mobiles while driving, despite new laws passed earlier this year.

The research also reveals a variety of tactics drink drivers and speed demons use to get away with breaking the law.

Drink-drivers confess to taking the back roads and spraying perfume to avoid being caught

Driving Drink Facts

Over the years there have been numerous campaigns and crackdowns against drink-driving, but it appears that for almost a third of people the message just hasn’t got through. 29% of drivers admitted to drink-driving and 73% admitted they don’t even know what the legal limit is.

The  survey finds that many are taking the risk of getting in their car after drinking alcohol, but even more when they are hungover. It appears that many are unaware that they could still be over the legal limit the day after a night of drinking. 75% of drivers said they have risked driving while hungover, with young drivers being the biggest offenders.

As police prepare to start the annual Christmas drink-driving crackdown, new data reveals that drink-drivers use a variety of tactics to avoid being caught by authorities.

These include:

  • Chewing gum to reduce the smell of alcohol (11%)
  • Driving down back roads to avoid being caught (16%)
  • Eating a heavy meal after drinking in hope that it soaks up the alcohol (16%)
  • Sticking to the speed limit when drink-driving to ensure they don’t get pulled over (37%)
  • Spraying perfume/aftershave to get rid of the alcohol smell while driving (5%)
  • Drinking coffee in hope that is sobers them up (11%)
  • Making themselves sick to try and get the alcohol out of their system before driving (2%)

Public awareness campaigns also stress the need to discourage others from drink-driving too, yet many of those surveyed admitted that they do not do so. 19% of Brits do not stop a stranger from getting into their car after drinking more than the limit, while 17% don’t prevent a friend from drink-driving, and 10% don’t stop family.

69% of drivers confess to slowing down until they have passed speed cameras

Earlier this year, the fines for speeding over the legal limit increased by 175% in an attempt to reduce the number of offenders. However, 70% of respondents continue to speed despite this.

Speeders also confessed to tactics to avoid being caught including slowing down just for the speed cameras and keeping a look out for unmarked police vehicles.

69% of drivers admitted to slowing down just for the speed cameras and speeding back up again once they’ve passed them. A further 44% confessed to keeping a look out for unmarked police vehicles when speeding to ensure they don’t get pulled over.

When it came to where people are most likely to exceed the speed limit, motorways were the top contender. Almost half of those surveyed confessed to speeding on motorways as opposed to any other type of road.

61% of drivers confess to using their phones while driving

Similar to speeding, the penalty for anyone caught using their phone while driving also increased.  Speeding driversnow receive six penalty points and a possible £1000 fine in the hope to crack down on the number of offences across the UK. Despite this, data by First4Lawyers reveals that 61% of drivers say that the new law hasn’t prevented them from using their phones behind the wheel.

When breaking this down to what drivers will admit to doing on their phone behind the wheel, 19% admitted to making a call without hands-free, while 17% admitted to texting.

5% admit to using Facebook when driving, while 3% have used Snapchat, and a further 3% even admit to taking a selfie behind the wheel.

Andrew Cullwick, spokesperson for First4Lawyers, said ‘This data reveals that many drivers believe they are above than the law, despite the danger they pose to themselves and other drivers by breaking the rules of the road. Driving drunk, speeding and using a mobile behind the wheel are all illegal, yet it appears that attempts so far to crack down on these incidents have been largely unsuccessful. It can only be hoped that the increase in the death by dangerous driving sentencing from 14 years to a life sentence will act as a deterrent to those risking the lives of other road users through their dangerous actions.’

Notes to Editors
Survey was conducted by OnePoll but commissioned by First4Lawyers. 2,000 respondents across the UK were surveyed between the dates of 1st and 3rd November 2017.

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