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Select Car Leasing

Wealth and responsibility? Posh drivers more likely to drink and drive

POSH drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel after a Christmas booze-up, a new national survey of UK drivers has revealed.

Independent statistics obtained by leading car leasing company Select Car Leasing show over one quarter (28%) of higher-earning employees admit they are prepared to break the drink-drive law over the festive season.


Meanwhile, just 3% of the lowest earners would risk jail time by being caught driving while above the legal alcohol limit, compared to one in seven (13%) of all UK drivers.

Select Car Leasing company director Mark Tongue said: “Christmas is the perfect time to catch up with loved ones over a drink or two.

“But it is worrying to see that so many drivers are happy to put their lives and the lives of others at risk by getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.

“It seems the more you earn, the more likely you are to have a blatant disregard for drink-driving laws.

“It is never acceptable to drive while above the legal alcohol limit, no matter who you are or how much you earn.”

The independent national study of 1,000 United Kingdom drivers was conducted for Select Car Leasing by One Poll and quizzed people on how likely they were to drive after having a few drinks this Christmas.

The responses were broken down into socio-economic groups, with the highest-earning group including the likes of higher managerial, administrative and professional workers such as chief executives, senior civil servants and top doctors.

More than one in four of this affluent group said they either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the suggestion they would probably drive while over the legal alcohol limit this Christmas.

By contrast, 12% of semi-skilled or unskilled manual workers such as factory operatives and refuse collectors said they agreed with the statement.


And the lowest socio-economic group, including pensioners, unemployed people and students, are least likely to drink and drive with just 3% of respondents admitting they might.

Motorists caught drink-driving face strict penalties such as six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a driving ban of at least one year.

And December is often the worst month of the year for offences, mainly due to the Christmas period.

New police data shows drink-driving offences over the 2018 festive season saw a 16 percent spike compared to the year before.

Stats from 40 of the UK’s 45 police forces showed 4,761 drivers were found over the drink-drive limit in December 2018, up from 4,092 in December 2017.


Select Car Leasing company director Mark Tongue added: “December is traditionally the busiest time of the year on the UK’s roads as we visit loved ones over Christmas.

“However, there is simply no excuse for driving your vehicle if you have had one too many alcoholic drinks. Even one drink can be enough to put you over the limit, so it’s best not to take any chances. 

“If you are looking forward to a few drinks with friends and family, make sure you arrange alternative transport home.”

Established in 2004, Select Car Leasing is one of the UK's largest independent specialists for car leasing as well as commercial and van leasing.

Data Source: Independent primary research study conducted by One Poll of 1,000 UK drivers for Select Car Leasing

Survey Question: I will probably drive after having had alcoholic drinks this Christmas 5pt attitudinal agree/disagree scale 

Table 1: All Respondents Data, Gender Split (sum strongly/somewhat agree and strongly/somewhat disagree)  


Table 2: Age Splits


Table 3: Region Split



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