Official new figures have revealed the most drunk motorist caught by police in 2014.
A man from Bedfordshire was caught at 12 times the legal limit. The police breathalyser registered 423mg per 100ml of breath ─ 388mg over the 35mg legal limit – according to figures obtained by insurance broker LV= via a Freedom of Information request.
Second place went to a driver from Durham who registered 331mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, roughly nine times the legal limit.
A DVLA report revealed 4,253 drivers (equivalent to one in 60) caught over the drink-drive limit since 2010 had a previous conviction. That works out at 1.6 per cent of the 256,842 drivers disqualified over the same period.
The average driving ban length has decreased by 12.4 per cent from 587 days in 2010 to 514 days in 2014. Drink-drive disqualifications, meanwhile, fell from 62,440 to 52,325 over the same period, suggesting 7,170 drivers escaped a ban.
Those caught over the legal limit by police tend are usually given a 12-month driving ban, but disqualification can be waived if the ban would cause ‘undue hardship’. This is how there are motorists with as many as 54 driving points on their licence still allowed to drive.
Offenders can opt for a nine-month ban if they agree to undertake a £250 drink-drive rehabilitation course. A maximum fine up to £5,000 and jail time up to six months can be given.
December was, unsurprisingly, found to be the time when drink-drive arrests peaked at 5,414 cases ─ 37.8 per cent above the monthly average of 3,927 arrests. The lowest monthly figure was 3,589 in February.
The per cent of motorists sent to driving fell from four to three per cent. The average fine was £247.50.
LV= managing director John O’Roarke said: “While most drivers understand the dangers of drink-driving, there is still a small minority who are persistently offending. It is disappointing that the average length of a driving ban has fallen as these motorists need to be kept off the roads.
“Those who drink and drive not only risk their own safety but the safety of other road users. The authorities should not shy away from banning them from the roads for as long as possible.”
A survey found two-thirds of drivers would welcome the introduction of Scotland’s new lower legal limit across the UK.
Unsure whether you are fit to drive after a boozy shindig the evening before? Avoid risking it. But if you really want to know, this will help.