The research by the road safety charity and Direct Line found that one in five motorists have confessed to previously getting behind the wheel the morning after a big night out while almost one in ten (9%) drive the next morning after heavy drinking at least once a month. 

Brake added that if someone drives at 8am after they have been drinking until midnight, there is a serious risk they could still have alcohol in their system and not be fit to drive. A total of 12% of people in the study said they would drive at 8am or even earlier.

One in eight drivers who fail a breath test are caught the morning after and more drivers have been caught over the limit after a crash between 6am and lunchtime on a Monday than on any other weekday for the last three years.

Brake has developed a morning after calculator to help people work out when they will be safe to drive again.

The research has been released in advance of Valentine’s Day, which this year falls on a Sunday and may see couples celebrating when they have to work the following day. 

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line, said: “If you can’t be sure that you won’t be over the drink-drive limit the morning after a few drinks, then don’t risk getting behind the wheel. That said, even if you can legally drive, it’s still better to make alternative travel arrangements, as even just being hungover or tired could have an adverse effect on your attention span and driving ability.”