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Drink Driving Trends – Checking Levels.

With the second in the series of offence trends, this time looking at drink driving, it can be graphically shown that December is not the only month in the year that this kind of endorsement spikes. Does this mean annual licence checking may not be sufficient?

Analysing the endorsement data for drink driving offences reveals some unexpected findings. December is typically targeted as a month where expectations for the seasonal holiday celebrations, result in a rise in drivers taking risks when driving whilst over the drink driving limit. The media and police authorities, rightly so, try to increase awareness of the risks associated and the dangers to road users and pedestrians.

However from the data shown in graphical format below, it can be seen that for the three most common offences of this type; Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit (DR10), Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis (DR30), In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit (DR40), that other months equally require serious consideration by those with duty of care requirements.

Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit (DR10)

This is the most common of the three drink driving offences. December is a high-risk month as conventionally known. The drop off in January and February, although not significant, then takes an upward surge into May. Understanding that the seasonal holidays commence again during Spring with Easter and May bank holidays, the peak of offences is shown to occur in May almost reaching December levels. Dropping off in June, but again the Summer brings in an upward trend back to Spring levels. October is also very interesting in that another upward trend occurs before reducing in November and the commencement of the Christmas holiday season.

Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis (DR30)

December again follows the conventional expectation, but then a more linear trend occurs from January to July, with a slight Spring increase in May. This seems to confirm that seasonal holidays have an influence on the occurrence of drink driving habits. October, in this case, does not spike but again August down to the commencement of December reduces to the lowest of the year in November.

In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit (DR40)

The data for this offence is very intriguing. December is recorded as having a lower number of offences committed than February, March and May. With May exhibiting the most.  Although the number of offences is far less than those of DR10s and DR30s it still indicates that holiday seasons should be understood to have an effect on drink driving.

Interpreting the Data

There does seem to be a correlation between all seasonal holidays, and the occurrences of drink driving offences. October being an anomaly that requires further thought. December is as expected is the usual period for offences to be experienced and this could be down to police campaign’s increasing the concentration of traffic officers to this particular activity. Spring is a surprise with May being seen to be every bit as noteworthy as December. July’s data is also interesting.

So the data leads to a question regarding the levels of licence checking that may be required. Is an annual check sufficient? Are licence checking budgets allocated sufficiently to cater for the seasonal trends? With more and more data being made available from the DVLA the analysis of this information is invaluable, assisting in short term and long term assessment of licence checking requirements. Licence Link will continue to provide such analysis as a free service to all HR and Fleet Managers in all business and industrial sectors.

First in the series:  Speeding Trends – Finding the Frequency

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