Personal Injury

Most 2019 Festive Season Drink Driving Arrests in South East

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, December 16, 2020

This year, the traditional end of year work party has been cancelled and we’re less likely to get behind the wheel after having one too many enjoying the festivities.

It means we’ll probably see a significant drop in the number of drink driving arrests made in December 2020 compared to the same month last year.

So, with most of us having to celebrate on our sofas this year, we thought it was a good time to take a look at where the most arrests took place in December 2019 and who was more likely to head out on the road while under the influence.

London saw most arrests

Unsurprisingly, the highest number of drink driving arrests in December 2019 were recorded by the UK’s biggest police force – London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request issued by First4Lawyers, the Met revealed that 560 people were taken into custody for driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the  influence.

Second on the list was Essex, where the county’s police force recorded 393 arrests for drink driving. Northern Ireland, which has a similar population to Essex, was third on the list. Its Police Service made 369 arrests.

City of London Police saw the fewest number of arrests, at nine, taking the total for the capital to 569.

Warwickshire Police reported making 45 arrests, while Gloucestershire Constabulary took 53 people into custody and Cleveland Police and Bedfordshire Police both arrested 54 people. And despite covering Birmingham, England’s second city, West Midlands Police arrested 92 people.

Local regions

The South East, excluding London, saw the highest number of arrests made for drink driving – 777. East England was next, with 717 arrests, while 600 people were arrested across the Yorkshire counties.

In England, 4,809 drink driving arrests were made in December 2019.

The breakdown across England’s regions was:

  • South East – 777
  • East England – 717
  • Yorkshire – 600
  • South West – 593
  • London – 569
  • North West – 531
  • West Midlands – 448
  • East Midlands – 360
  • North East – 214

Meanwhile, Wales’ four police forces recorded 338 drink driving arrests.

Gender differences

Men were more likely than women to be arrested for drink driving by every force that responded to our FOI request.

Northern Ireland saw the most women arrested, at 77, while the Met arrested the highest number of men at 499.

In total, 4,184 men were arrested in December 2019, while 925 women were taken into custody.

West Midlands Police saw the lowest percentage of women arrested, at 7% of the total. Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Constabulary saw the highest percentage, at 38%.

Age splits

Younger people were more likely to be arrested while driving under the influence. According to the responses from almost all forces, the older the age grouping, the fewer the arrests.

Across most forces that responded, drivers aged 17-29 made up the highest proportion of arrests for drink driving in December 2019. Those aged 30-39 accounted for the second highest proportion, while those aged 40-49 were next.

Just nine police forces arrested more people aged 30-39 than younger people:

  • West Yorkshire Police – 110 vs 104
  • Devon & Cornwall Police – 70 vs 67
  • Kent Police – 58 vs 53
  • South Yorkshire Police – 53 vs 50
  • Nottinghamshire Police – 45 vs 36
  • Cheshire Constabulary – 42 vs 35
  • Norfolk Constabulary – 32 vs 24
  • Cleveland Police – 21 vs 16
  • Gloucestershire Constabulary 20 vs 15

West Yorkshire Police reported the oldest perpetrator of this offence – an 81-year-old motorist was taken into custody. A 76-year-old driver was the second oldest person arrested for drink driving that month, taken into custody by Wales’ Dyfed-Powys Police.

Meanwhile, in one of the most shocking figures released, Kent Police recorded the youngest person arrested for drink driving – a 14-year-old.

Dangers of drink driving

Although it can be tempting to think that getting behind the wheel after a few too many is harmless, the statistics prove otherwise.

In 2019, 199 fatal car accidents were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. A further 1,783 serious accidents were caused.

This highlights how dangerous it is to drive while under the influence.

If you’ve been hurt in a road accident caused by another driver, whether they had been drinking or not, you could be able to claim compensation for your injuries.

To find out how First4Lawyers could help, give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.

Note: Police Scotland and Durham Constabulary refused our request for information, while Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Lincolnshire Police and Greater Manchester Police did not respond.

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