UK’s drink and drug-driving hot spots revealed by new insurance data

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Postcodes with worst offender rates revealed as figures show post-lockdown spike

The UK areas with the most drink and drug-driving offenders have been named as figures reveal a post-lockdown rise in offences.

Analysis of almost four million insurance quotes on online platform MoneySuperMarket showed that the number of drivers admitting to having a drink-driving or drug-driving conviction rose from 0.95 per 1,000 in 2019/2020 to 1.05 per 1,000 in 2020/2021.

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It also showed that for the second year in a row Llandudno in Wales had the highest proportion of offenders.

For every 1,000 drivers in the coastal town’s postcode area, 1.89 reported a conviction for drink or drug driving in 2020/21 - up from 1.58 in 2019/2020.

The figures suggest a rise in offences since lockdown endedThe figures suggest a rise in offences since lockdown ended
The figures suggest a rise in offences since lockdown ended | Shutterstock

That placed it at the top of the country’s list of shame, ahead of Liverpool (1.76 per 1,000), Telford (1.76), Darlington (1.73) and Newport (1.60), which all also saw marked increases in the proportion of offenders.

North West London (NW postcode), in contrast, had the lowest proportion of offences, with just 0.54 drivers per 1,000 declaring a drink or drug driving conviction, a small decrease on the 2019/20 figure of 0.58.

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The TD postcode, which covers the town of Galashiels and surrounding parts of southern Scotland, had the second lowest rate of offences at 0.62 per 1,000, tied with St Albans in south-east England. Kirkcaldy (0.64) and Harrow (0.67) rounded out the five postcodes with the lowest offending rates, all seeing a reduction from 2019/20’s figures.


Sara Newell, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Under lockdown, we saw drink and drug driving rates fall a little, partly – we believe – in response to Brits spending less time on the roads.

“What our new data reveals, however, is that since the easing of restrictions, numbers are up across the board – something that we can attribute to the roads getting busier once more.

“With Christmas around the corner and party season now officially upon us, it’s important to be vigilant as there’s an increased likelihood for driving under the influence. Our advice is simple: if you’re going out and you need to drive, don’t drink.”

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The data also showed the professions with the highest and lowest conviction rates for drink and drug driving, with labourers the most likely to reveal a conviction.

Those who classed their occupation as labourer recorded 6.6 convictions per 1,000 drivers, ahead of ground workers (6.4), builders’ labourers (6.4), landscape gardeners (4.8) and bricklayers (4.6). Police officers (0.035), Hospital doctors (0.119) and taxi drivers (0.129) had the lowest declared conviction rates.

The figures also showed that men are nearly three times more likely than women to be convicted of a drink or drug driving offence, with 1.45 offences per 1,000 compared with 0.53.

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