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Drink-Driving Offences Among ‘Senior’ Motorists Rising Rapidly in the UK

Police forces across the UK are reporting an increasing number of drink-driving offences being committed by ‘elderly’ motorists it has been revealed.

In 2012 police reported that at least 232 motorists over the age of 75 had been caught driving whilst over the legal alcohol limit, one of which included a 93-year-old driver stopped in Devon.

According to car insurance company Swiftcover.com, the number of over-75s committing drink-drive offences has increased by 20% since 2010.

Swiftcover’s figures followed data from 42 of the 52 UK police forces requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Research shows that 15% of all drink-driving offences were committed by over-50s, however, that proportion reached as high as 54% in Lancashire and as low as 2% in London.

Southern areas of the UK were identified as the worst locations for older drivers committing drink-driving offences, with southwest England having the most number of offenders over the age of 75.

The research also highlighted that outside London, the fewest incidents of drink-driving among older motorists occurred in northeast England and Yorkshire.

Police forces were also questioned on how many motorists had been caught driving over the legal alcohol limit during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

They were also asked to provide answers to the number of motorists, within the years specified, that were aged 50 or over. Offenders were categorised across five-year brackets ranging from 50 to over 90.

The underwriting manager for Swiftcover.com, Roman Bryl, said: “Drink-driving is unacceptable at any age. Whilst great strides have been made to tackle this in younger people, the number of motorists drink-driving from the older generations is still worryingly high.”

He concluded by saying: “An increase in driving under the influence among the elderly is a shocking and deeply concerning trend as far too many casualties and fatalities occur as a result of this.”

The increase in the number of drink-driving offences committed by senior motorists has been greeted with disdain by a number of insurance companies who claim that it sets the wrong precedent for younger drivers.

Quoting anonymously, one insurance company said: “Imagine the impression it creates on a young driver if one of these senior drink-driving offenders happens to be their grandma or granddad. Youngsters look up to their grandparents as role-models and many would not imagine them to be rampaging drunk-drivers.”

The insurance company added: “It’s difficult enough with young drivers involved in road accidents as a result of alcohol. It’s not something we would expect to be increasing among age groups considered to be more responsible.”

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