Proportion of women caught drink-driving nearly doubles

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Drink-drive survey
David Cheskin/PA WIRE

The number of women convicted for drink-driving almost doubled over a 14-year period, a survey has revealed. This research has discovered that 17 per cent of those who were caught drink-driving were women in 2012, compared with just nine per cent of the total back in 1998, reports the Guardian.

The survey carried out by Direct Line and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund found that 17 per cent of female drivers also believed that they had driven while over the drink-driving limit within the last year.

Six out of 10 of the women surveyed admitted that they were unaware of the legal limit for drink-driving. Furthermore, nearly all of the respondents claimed that they were able to drink more alcohol than the "average woman" before being over the legal limit.

Of those who admitted to drink-driving, the most common justification – cited by 59 per cent of respondents – was that they felt "okay" to drive. Meanwhile, 31 per cent thought that they'd be safe if they drove carefully and 17 per cent didn't feel they had any alternative – often because of "family emergencies".

Surprisingly, 14 per cent also said that they were happy to drive while over the limit as they didn't think there was much chance of being caught. Head of road policy at the AA Paul Watters said it was a "common scenario for a woman to be designated the driver after a dinner party and to underestimate the effects of alcohol they've consumed", reports the Daily Telegraph.

Minister for road safety Robert Goodwill told the Guardian: "Drink-driving wrecks lives, and the personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction can be devastating. In 2013, 803 women failed a breathalyser test after an accident and that is 803 too many.

"That is why we are cracking down on the minority who drink and drive by introducing a new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and closing loopholes in the law to make it easier for police to prosecute drink-drivers."