More than 8,000 motorists caught drink-driving in South East in December last year

More than 8,000 motorists in the South East were caught drink-driving in December last year.

The figure, which came to light after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, revealed the South East was the second highest region for drink-driving offences last year.

The drink-driving figures came to light after an FOI request

The drink-driving figures came to light after an FOI request

The FOI also revealed that on average 179 motorists in the UK were caught drunk behind the wheel per day in December – more than any other month of the year.

Confused.com, which obtained the figures from 41 UK police forces, said more than a quarter of motorists were caught in the morning, between the hours of 5am and 11am.

It also said that men were more likely to drink and drive than women, with 34,886 men caught drunk behind the wheel in 2017, compared to 7,061 women.

It said a total of 8,146 motorists were caught drink-driving in the South East in December last year.

A spokesman said: “Christmas party season is just around the corner and no doubt drivers across the UK are booking taxis and hotels in preparation for a big night with friends and family.

“However, new data reveals thousands of motorists took the chance and jumped behind the wheel after a drink as the festive season is revealed to be the worst for drink-driving offences.

“In total, 57,613 motorists were caught drink-driving last year. This is a two per cent increase from 2016, which saw 56,745 offenders caught, in comparison.

“However, it isn’t just police officers patrolling the roads late at night to catch people heading home from the pub or a party who are pulling over drunk motorists.

“Further research by Confused.com reveal there are many fuzzy-headed motorists who are driving the morning after a night of drinking.

“Almost one in 20 (four per cent) UK drivers have been caught driving over the legal alcohol limit at some point, of which, more than one in four (28 per cent) cases happened the morning after drinking.

“In fact, more than one in seven (15 per cent) drunk-drivers say they have been caught between the hours of 5am and 11am.”

To help drivers keep a tab on the effect of their alcohol consumption, Confused.com’s morning-after calculator allows users to input their drink of choice, how many glasses they have had, and when they stopped drinking, to estimate when their body will be free of any trace of alcohol.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “There are a worrying number of people confused about how long they should wait between drinking alcohol and driving, and this has led to thousands of motorists being caught drunk behind the wheel each month.

“With December and Christmas party season just around the corner, we’ve created a morning-after calculator that gives an idea as to how much alcohol is still in your system, and how long it typically takes to leave your body to give a quick indication of when you might be safe to drive.

“Drink driving can seriously impact the safety of our roads and put other road users at risk.

“Not only this, but it can land drivers with a fine or driving ban, which can have a negative impact on their car insurance premiums.

“To avoid getting caught out, we suggest drivers stop drinking early if they know they have to get behind the wheel in the morning, but the best advice would be to avoid drinking alcohol at all.”

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