The number of "morning after" drink-drive accidents, in which people drive not knowing they may still be over the legal limit, has hit a record high.
Figures have been released as the Christmas Party season gets underway, urging the need for extra care.
Research has shown a near 60% increase in the proportion of morning-after crashes in the last 10 years. AlcoSense Breathalysers' latest figures show 18.2% of all drink-drive accidents in 2010 happened between 5am and 1pm.
In 2000 the figure was 11.4% and in 1990, 6.9%. The massive rise over the years will probably have meant an equally big rise in the number of motorists facing increasedcar insurance premiums.
AlcoSense also found a sharp rise in the rate of morning after accidents since 2005, the year licensing laws were relaxed to allow pubs and bars to stay open later.
It was surprisingly easy to be over the limit the next morning, despite people thinking the alcohol in their system can be cleared with a few hours' sleep, said AlcoSense Managing Director Hunter Abbott, who added: "You could easily still be over the limit at 11am the following day."
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