Press release


Friday 14 December 2012

• 23% of 18-24 year olds admit to drink driving (up from 21% in 2008)
• Biggest improvements among 55-64 year olds and women

With the alcohol flowing at parties up and down the country this festive season, the annual Christmas message not to drink and drive seems to be hitting home, but some people still take risks according to research by Saga Motor Insurance*.  Since 2008 the proportion of those who drink drive has fallen for all age groups over 25, but unfortunately the 18-24 year old drink-drivers has gone up.

The research showed that most people will either stick to soft drinks or limit themselves to one alcoholic drink if they are in a social situation and will need to drive. Yet the findings also revealed that 14% of drivers think they have driven while over the legal alcohol limit during the past five years. Nearly a quarter of 18-24 year olds (23%) admitted they had done so. And there was a clear difference between the sexes, with nearly a fifth of men (19%) and only 8% of women, believing they had driven while over the limit.

These latest findings are an encouraging improvement on 2008 figures**. Across all age groups – except for 18-24 year olds – there has been a fall in the number of people saying they had driven while over the legal alcohol limit during the past five years.

There were some surprising regional differences too. Nearly a fifth of Londoners (19%) admitted to driving whilst over the limit compared to just 7% of Scots.

Three quarters of those surveyed believed that there should be a maximum price for soft drinks in pubs, clubs and restaurants in the UK in order to deter people from drinking alcohol. In fact around half of people believe that the high price of soft drinks encourages more drink driving.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: “It’s good to know that the annual Christmas drink drive campaigns are working and the over 50s are safer on the road and more responsible when it comes to getting behind the wheel. But it is still concerning that people are willing to take a risk with drinking and driving.

A person involved in a car accident may find it traumatic getting back on the road again. To help people regain their confidence on the road, we offer a free drive confidence course for Saga Motor Insurance customers with Legal Protection who are injured in an accident caused by someone else driving whilst drunk.”


Notes to editors

* Populus interviewed 2,002 adults online between 30th November and 2nd December 2012. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
**2008 Populus survey

About Saga Car Insurance
• Saga insures more than 1m motorists in the UK, features of Saga Car Insurance include:
• ‘Emergency driver’ cover if a medical condition prevents you from continuing your journey
• Saga provides 'get you home' cover in the event your car is immobile following an accident, which enables you to claim travelling and/or hotel expenses of up to £500
• If you travel abroad in your car, Saga automatically includes cover in the European Union at no extra cost and for an unlimited period
• Your No Claim Discount will not be affected if you make a claim for damage caused by vandals.
• If you take out the additional cover option of Legal Protection with your Saga Car Insurance, a benefit includes a two-hour driver confidence course if you’re injured in an accident whilst driving your vehicle.

In the last 5 years, do you think at any point you may have driven whilst you were over the legal drink drive limit?

Net: Yes Populus October 2008 research  Saga/Populus December 2012    % increase or decrease
18-24 year olds  21%   23%  +2%
25-34 year olds 22%   17%  -5%
35-44 year olds   18%  12% -6% 
45-54 year olds  15%   10%  -5%
55-64 year olds   20%  13%  -7%
65+ year olds 16% 12% -4%
Male 22% 19% -3%
Female 13% 8% -5%

The high price of soft drinks in pubs/clubs/restaurant etc encourages people to drink and drive

 Total respondents Under 50s  Over 50s 
Agree  48%   44% 52% 
Disagree   28% 28%  26% 
 Neither agree or disagree  20% 23%  18% 
 Don't know  4% 5%  4% 

There should be a maximum price charged for soft drinks in pubs/clubs/restaurants etc to encourage people not to drink and drive

   Total respondents
 Agree  75%
Disagree  11% 
 Neither agree or disagree  12%
Don't know  3%