Research Finds 18% Of Uk Drink Drivers Are At Least 50 Years Old
28th February 2014
While the general public may expect that young adults are the most likely to drive while drunk, personal injury solicitors London regularly see road traffic accident claims in which the negligent driver was ‘old enough to know better’. This was reflected by recent research from car insurance provider swiftcover.com, which made a Freedom of Information request to all police forces across the UK, discovering that 18% of all drink driving offences involve motorists over the age of 50.
Furthermore, although the number of drink driving offences recorded has fallen by 15% over the last few years, the number of people older than 50 caught driving while drunk has remained relatively static.
But the risk of drink-driving road traffic accident claims could be even higher among motorists over the age of 80. The research revealed that the number of over-80s who have been caught driving while drunk has increased by 20% since 2010, with four over-80s being caught drink-driving every week in 2012. The oldest-recorded offender discovered by the Swiftcover.com research was 93 years old.
This could be because people over the age of 80 will likely have started driving in the 1950s or earlier, significantly earlier than the UK’s first drink-drive limit, which was introduced in 1967. Furthermore, many people older than 50 will have first got behind the wheel in the late 1970s, where the drink-drive limit was more than 500% higher than it currently is.
Drink Drive Road Traffic Accident Claims And Older People
Huge amounts of effort have been made to raise awareness of drink driving in young adults and to ensure they know not to get behind the wheel after drinking. This could also be a factor in the disproportionate increases in the number of older people who are driving while drunk.
Regardless of how old a driver is and how experienced they think they are, personal injury solicitors London would warn people that there is no safe age to drink drive, and it is inherently dangerous in all circumstances. Far too many preventable personal injury claims and fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by drink-driving and it is deeply irresponsible for older people to be putting other road users at risk by driving when drunk.
Older people should be aware that their metabolism is not as fast as the average person’s is, and that they could be above the drink-drive blood alcohol limit and at a higher risk of road traffic accident claims after consuming a small amount of alcohol. One pint of beer will have a far more significant effect on an older person’s blood alcohol level than it would on a young person’s.
Personal injury solicitors would strongly recommend that people avoid drinking any alcohol whatsoever when they are driving that day or the next morning, with this warning especially important for older drivers. The risks posed by driving while drunk are just too high to be excusable.