New research from Direct Line Car Insurance has revealed that two million drivers have got behind the wheel because they thought they were ‘less drunk’ than their passengers.

Seven per cent of all motorists admit to drink-driving with passengers in their vehicle in the last two years and 80 per cent of these (equivalent to two million drivers), say it was because they were ‘less drunk’ than their passengers.

Of the two million supposed ‘less drunk’ drivers, over two in five (44 per cent) stated that it happens regularly and 35 per cent have done it more than once.

A night out was the most common reason given (32 per cent), followed by driving home after a dinner party (25 per cent). Weddings, birthday parties and after drinking at home were also frequently cited, as was driving home from the airport after drinking on the plane. 

Direct Line questioned respondents about the reasons for ‘less drunk’ driving and 29 per cent said they did so because they thought they were less likely to be involved in an accident than if their passenger had driven.

Rob Miles, Director of Motor at Direct Line Car Insurance, commented: “Being less intoxicated than the rest of your party isn’t a reason to drive. If you are over the limit and get caught or have an accident, being the least drunk out of your group does not mean the penalty or the danger will be any less. We’d encourage all drivers to avoid alcohol altogether if they intend to get behind the wheel.”