RAC Cars News


Drink Driving Women On The Increase

By raccars Published

Image Source

Research by insurance provider, Direct Line, has suggested that the number of women driving while over the legal blood alcohol limit is increasing, with middle class 'yummy mummy' drinkers believed to account for the rise.

The number of women convicted of drink driving has nearly doubled in the last 15 years - in 1998 only 9% of drink driving convictions were held by women, but by 2012 this had increased to 17%. 8,380 women received drink driving convictions in 1998, a figure which increased by 14% to 9,580 by 2012 - however, at the same time, the number of men receiving drink driving convictions dropped by 46%.

Experts are cautioning that middle class mothers are making a habit of drinking a glass of wine with lunch and then doing the afternoon school run, or drinking a bottle of wine at dinner which is still present in their systems when they drive to work the following morning, although they believe they are perfectly fit to drive. Furthermore, women tend to be made the 'designated driver' after dinner parties because they drink less than men, but the often small amount of alcohol they do drink is underestimated.

Of the female motorists questioned as part of the survey, 17% admitted that they had probably been over the legal limit on some occasions while driving during the past 12 months. The main excuse given by the women was that they felt physically capable of driving and that they had to drive someone else home, usually a husband or partner, who had been drinking more than them.

Motoring organisations are calling for awareness campaigns, alerting people to the increasing risk of drink driving females. With more women drivers on the road than ever before, coinciding with a more sociable female population than in the past, it is of particular concern that three in five of the women questioned in the survey were unaware of the legal blood alcohol threshold for driving. Further questioning saw most respondents claim they felt they were safe to drink more than an 'average woman' before passing the legal limit.

Thirty one per cent believed that careful driving would mitigate the risks, but 17% of the women questioned mentioned that on occasions they had had no choice but to drink and drive, citing 'family emergencies' as a reason. Nonetheless, 803 female drivers taking a breathalyser test after an accident failed in 2013.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars