More men than women happy to have one too many for the road


A new study has revealed men are much more willing to drive after drinking than women. It also carries a warning that it's not just your life you could be ruining when the temptation to have a Christmas drink and drive becomes too much.

Women's car insurance specialist Diamond surveyed 2,600 motorists and found 1 in 10 men would consider themselves safe to drive after drinking between 3 and 4 units of alcohol compared to just 1 in 100 women. Not a single woman questioned would consider herself safe to drive after 5 units or more, but 1% of men said they would.

Most women seem happier to err on the side of caution as two thirds of them, said they would only consider themselves safe to drive after drinking 0 units. Whereas nearly half of men, 47%, would drink 1 to 2 units and still drive. In fact if you put all of the figures together, 62% of men are willing to drive after having drunk alcohol compared to 34% of women.

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis, commented, "These results show the effects drinking can have on your driving don't seem to have hit home with many men. The fact that such a large percentage are happy to drive after having a drink is a real worry as any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. A single pint of 5% lager can contain up to 2.8 units and a large 250ml glass of wine can contain 3 units which could easily push anyone, whether male or female, close to or over the drink drive limit."

Diamond also asked motorists whether they had ever been stopped and breathalysed by the police. Again there was a difference between men and women as nearly a third of men questioned (32%) had been breathalysed compared to just 12% of women.

Sian continued, "The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, and who honestly knows what they can drink and be under the limit?

"The danger with stronger and larger drinks is that they can easily push you over this limit, so the best advice, if you want to avoid a fatal accident, prison sentence, driving ban or large fine, is not to drink at all. You don't want to add to the estimated 14,480 casualties and 460 deaths that occurred in 2007 where someone was driving whilst over the legal limit for alcohol."

Diamond also investigated some of its in-house data and found that the majority of people they insure with drink drive convictions were caught during December which goes to show the anti-drink drive message is still being ignored by some people.

An example of the shocking impact drink driving can have is illustrated here. Diamond dealt with one case where a driver used his partner's car after a night of drinking when he was not insured to. He then drove two female passengers home, lost control of the car and hit a fence and lamppost. The occupants of the car sustained nasty injuries including a collapsed lung and fractured pelvis. The car was a write off, but as he was not covered to drive it an order was gained against his property to liquidise his assets to reclaim money he owed in relation to the claims paid out – all this because he thought it was acceptable to drink and drive.

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