Thousands of motorists in the north west caught drink-driving last year - and most were at Christmas

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More than 4,000 drivers were caught drink-driving in the north west last year.

New data shows that 4,254 motorists were caught drink-driving in the North West last year. And according to the figures, Christmas season topped the list as 401 drivers were caught for the offence in December alone. That’s according to new Freedom of Information data obtained by

According to the figures, Lancashire saw the highest number of offences, with 1,362 drivers caught drink-driving last year. And the festive season proved to be particularly busy for police in Chester, with more drivers caught there in December than any other month (125, 10 per cent).

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Throughout the UK, drink-driving offences over last year’s festive period increased by 16 per cent compared to the previous year. Overall, December saw the highest number of drink-drivers in 2018, with a staggering 4,761 caught over the limit – equivalent to 154 per day, on average. With almost 56,000 motorists caught drink-driving over the course of the year, this accounted for eight per cent of all offences. Worryingly, the data shows drink-driving is becoming more common, as offences increased by 16 per cent year-on-year.

More than 4,000 motorists in the north west were caught drink-driving last year (Picture posed by model)More than 4,000 motorists in the north west were caught drink-driving last year (Picture posed by model)
More than 4,000 motorists in the north west were caught drink-driving last year (Picture posed by model)

But further research shows that people are drinking without fully understanding how much they can have before driving. In fact, more than one in three (36 per cent) UK drivers are confused about the legal drink-driving limit. According to the research, more than a third (37 per cent) of drivers would drive after having one drink, while nearly one three (32 per cent) would feel safe to drive after two or more drinks.

The biggest culprits of drink-driving may come as a surprise, as the research shows older drivers are the most likely to risk drink-driving. More than half (55 per cent) of over 55s admit to driving after drinking. And when it comes to the sexes, men are almost three times more likely to be prosecuted for drink-driving compared to women.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, says: “With many of us enjoying celebrations with friends and family, we need to clue up on the drink-drive laws, as it’s clear so many people are taking the risk and driving after a drink. And as our experiment shows, sometimes even one drink is enough to push us over the limit.

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“Surprisingly, the morning after seems to be a prime time for drink-drivers. But how long do we need to wait before we can drive? Working out units versus hours passed is confusing at the best of times, so we’ve released our morning after calculator to estimate when you should be safe to drive.

“Ultimately, jumping behind the wheel after a drink is putting yourself and other road users at risk. Not only this but it can land you with a fine or driving ban. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. If you’re driving, don’t drink.”

To help drivers stay on the right side of the law, has released a ‘morning after calculator’. By using this, drivers can work out how much alcohol could still be in their system and estimate how long they’ll have to wait before it leaves their body.