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Two thirds of drivers don’t know what the drink drive limit is

29th December 2015

  • The Co-operative Insurance is urging drivers to ‘clue up’ in time for New Year’s Eve festivities

New research from The Co-operative Insurance has revealed that almost two thirds (60%) of drivers have no idea what the legal drink-driving limit is.

Only 40% of drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland correctly said that the legal drink-drive limit was 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. Worryingly, nearly a tenth (8%) of drivers believe that it is 45 micrograms or more, however a quarter (25%) erred on the side of caution and believe that the limit is 25 micrograms.

Older drivers aged over 55 (42%) are most clued up about drink-drive limits, however it is drivers aged 35-44 who are least informed, with only 38% knowing their limits. Men are more clued up on limits with almost half (47%) correctly answering the question in comparison to a third (35%) of women.

An understanding of drink-drive limits is extremely important to try to keep the UK’s roads safe and road users and pedestrians from harm. Recent road safety figures say that drink drivers accounted for 13% of all road fatalities*

According to the DVLA, those caught driving or attempting to drive whilst over the legal limit or unfit through drink can receive: 6 months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)**. 

Drivers in Scotland fare marginally better than their counterparts from across the UK, however over half (56%) still couldn’t say what the Scottish drink-drive limit is – 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “Drivers should be aware of drink-driving limits when they take to the roads all year round in order to keep communities safe.

Especially at this time of year, when social occasions where having a quick drink are common, awareness of limits are all the more necessary.

Drink-driving is a serious offence which carries serious penalties for a reason – it can devastate lives. In addition, if you are caught drink-driving, obtaining car insurance in future could be extremely difficult, and expensive.


Notes to editors:

Research conducted by 72 Point questioning 2,000 drivers in November 2015.

* most recent figures from Think! say that in 2012, 230 deaths were due to drink-driving – accounting for 13% of all road fatalities


For further information please contact:

Jenna Moss
Press & Media Relations Manager – The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 767 4354/07770 441 828

About The Co-operative Insurance:

The Co-operative Insurance is a UK-based General Insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the Motor and Home Insurance markets. The Co-operative Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co-operative Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.

With more than 1.18m customers, The Co-operative Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co-operative Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of Young Drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co-operative Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.