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11 October 2007

One in five drivers admit to regularly drink-driving

One in five drivers has admitted to regularly drink-driving, according to shocking new research from Autoglass.

Alcohol affects a motorist’s ability to drive safely by impairing reaction times and the ability to judge speed and distances. Worryingly, a whopping 21 per cent of drivers say they have enjoyed several alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel, with one in ten consuming at least four units. And although 52 per cent of Brits reckon they know how much they can drink before they are over the limit, nine per cent think they can gulp down more than four units and still be within the law.

The poll revealed that 16 per cent of Brits have drunk more than two glasses of alcohol before driving home from a friend’s house, while another 16 per cent have driven home from a night out after supping a couple of drinks. Bearing in mind that two large (250ml) glasses of wine equates to around six units of alcohol, and two pints of beer adds up to around four and a half units – this is a significant amount of alcohol to consume before setting off in your car.

The law states that the legal limit of alcohol is 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood and drinking two pints of beer or just one large 250ml glass of wine is enough to put many people over the drink drive limit*.
Alarmingly, one out of five drivers believes the myth that a couple of cups of coffee lessen the effect of the alcohol while 34 per cent think they are safe to drive if they have something to eat. Almost half think drinking several glasses of water also means they can get back behind the wheel.

One in five people think being tall or fat means you can get away with drinking more alcohol than the average person before driving, and more than a third believe eating a large meal gives you the green light to drink more than usual before driving. A worrying 14 per cent of Brits think being tall, fat or eating a large meal means they can have as much as two alcohol drinks more than the average person and still be safe to drive home.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass, says: “With 3,000 people killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions, these results are extremely worrying. Despite several high profile advertising campaigns persuading people to find another way home after drinking alcohol, our poll reveals there are still a lot of drivers getting behind the wheel.

“You may feel fine after two glasses of wine or a couple of pints, but the reality is, you may be over the limit. So if you are going to drink, it is important you don’t drive.”

The survey also revealed that 81 per cent of Brits think introducing a year-long drinking ban on new drivers is a good idea to try and reduce the number of drink-related accidents on the UK roads.

Almost three quarters of people also reckon old people should be banned from drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol before driving.

Autoglass is committed to campaigns that help raise awareness for motorists about the importance of driving safely. With 119 branches nationwide and 1,200 mobile service units, Autoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service. For details of your nearest centre call 0800 36 36 36 or visit

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