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Sunderland named UK's capital for drink- and drug-driving convictions

Sunderland has the highest rate of drivers with drink- or drug-driving convictions on their car insurance policies, according to MoneySuperMarket.

The price comparison website looked at 7 million car insurance quotes over the past 12 months and found that nearly three (2.91) in every 1,000 drivers living in Sunderland who requested quotes had a drink- or drug-driving conviction - an increase of 1.3 per 1,000 compared to last year.

Truro in Cornwall (2.6) and Coventry (2.53) follow in second and third place, with all three areas entering the top 10 for the first time.

Crewe, which had the highest number of offences in the UK last year, dropped to sixth place, despite its number of convictions rising overall from 1.69 to 2.29 per 1,000.

At the other end of the scale, London dominated the list of postcodes with the lowest conviction rates for the second year in a row. The postal area of north London had just 0.59 convictions per 1,000 drivers, while five other London postal areas also feature in the bottom 10 - north west, west, east, south east and south west. 

MoneySuperMarket also created an interactive map of UK drink driving convictions. 

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. 

“There are serious consequences if you’re caught drink- or drug-driving, including a driving ban of at least a year and an unlimited fine, as well as a possible jail sentence of up to six months.

“Furthermore, an endorsement for drink- or drug-driving will sit on your licence for 11 years and you’ll have to declare the offence when you apply for car insurance for five years.

"The message is clear: if you’re in any doubt about your sobriety, don’t drive. The temporary inconvenience you might suffer by not driving is a far better option than the life-changing upheaval that follows a conviction.”


Highest number of offences 2017

Rank Postal area

Rate (per 1,000)

1 Sunderland 2.91
2 Truro 2.60
3 Coventry 2.53
4 Blackburn 2.46
Cleveland 2.30
6 Crewe 2.29
7 Wigan 2.26
8 Wakefield 2.24
9 Reading 2.21
10 Wolverhampton 2.12


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