Youngsters are still the worst drink-driving offenders, which means warnings are failing, according to safety campaigners.
Figures revealed by the Association of Chief Police Officers revealed that more than 7,200 people were arrested during a Christmas and New Year drink-driving crackdown.
Over the festive period, police stopped and tested around 157,000 drivers in England and Wales. The campaign involved 43 forces testing drivers at all times of the day and night from December 1 to January 1.
The young driver offending rate stood at 5.7%, compared with 4% for over-25s, and this is worrying, according to Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Mr Greig said the message is not getting through to young motorists as the study showed half are ignorant about how much they can drink and still be under the limit.
He said a key factor, particularly for the young, could be lack of education and confusion over safe limits in the modern drinking culture of huge glasses and continually changing mixes of alcohol.
Copyright Press Association 2012