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Coronavirus lockdown could bring increased drink driving

By / 11 months ago / Latest News / No Comments

Motorists are being warned about the possibility of more drink drivers on the roads during the coronavirus lockdown.

Driver being breathalysed

AlcoSense warns that people carrying out early morning supermarket shops may be over the limit

While drink driving was already on the rise – the number of people killed in road accidents where the driver was over the drink drive limit has risen 25% in the past two years according to latest DfT figures – the lockdown could further exacerbate this.

According to breathalyser firm AlcoSense, people may be jumping into their cars to join early morning supermarket queues for essential supplies, potentially unaware of alcohol in their system from the night before.

Home drinking in the UK is reported to have almost doubled to 100 million pints of beer a week amid the lockdown – and the wine glass poured at home is generally thought to be larger than the measured pub unit.

Already, nearly a fifth of drink drive convictions are in the morning, and a third of all breath tests after an accident are conducted between 7am and 1pm.

“If you consume three pints of beer or three large glasses of wine before retiring at 11pm, you’re unlikely to be totally clear of alcohol when driving to the supermarket for 7am,” said Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense and a member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

“Even if you’re just at the English/Welsh legal drink drive limit, research shows you are 13 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when sober.

He added: “The impact of Covid-19 is worrying enough without the added stress of being banned from driving, or involved in a car crash.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.