Sunderland has highest rate of drink and drug-driving in the country

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New figures have revealed that Sunderland has the worst rate of motorists drug and drink-driving.

Reasearch carried out by MoneySuperMarket reveals the postal areas that have the highest rate of drivers with drink or drug driving convictions on their car insurance policies.

The analysis, which looked at seven million car insurance quotes found that those living in Sunderland SR postcode areas have the highest number of drink and drug driving convictions nationally, with nearly three (2.91) for every 1,000 drivers, an increase of 1.3 compared to last year.

When broken down the figures showed some areas of the city were much higher. In the SR3 area the figure rose to 5.5 per 1,000 drivers, SR2 was 3.95, SR1 was 3.89 and SR4 was 2.97.

Some areas were lower, with SR5 being 2.1 per 1,000 people, SR7 at 1.04 and SR6 the lowest at 0.74.

In Washignton, with a NE38 postcode, the figure was 1.56, the DH5 area was 3.33 and the DH4 area 1.79.

Nationally the data found men are most likely to get behind the wheel while under the influence, but the total rate of convictions has increased since 2016 for both male and female drivers, rising from 1.39 to 1.68 per 1,000 for men and from 0.92 to 1.20 per 1,000 for women.

Conviction rates for drink or drug driving is the lowest for over 65s with 0.21 offences per 1,000 drivers, closely followed by 17 to 19 year olds, with just 0.25 convictions. Drivers aged 25 to 29 saw the highest rate of convictions, with three per every 1,000 drivers.

Drivers who have a drink or drug driving conviction will typically see their motor premiums increase at renewal. Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Most people rightly view drink and drug driving as totally unacceptable.

“Although, our analysis shows that it’s a minority that are offending, it’s worrying to see that convictions have increased since last year. This could be because people forget alcohol can stay in the system for a long time after the party is over, leading to being caught the following morning when they think they’re sober.”

In August the Department for Transport figures showed the number of drink drive collisions had risen.

Commenting on this, Jason Wakeford, director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Selfish drink drivers destroy lives and inflict appalling suffering on families up and down the country. There will be more, unrecorded, casualties involving drivers impaired by alcohol but under the current limit. The drink drive limit in England and Wales is the second highest in Europe and must be lowered urgently.”