York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate tops drink-driver list

Harrogate has the highest concentration of drink-drivers in the UK, an analysis of car insurance applications shows.

The price comparison website moneysupermarket.com found nearly one in 100 people who applied for car insurance there had been prosecuted.

The findings come after it analysed 14 million quotes from the past year.

The high incidence of drink-driving in Harrogate, situated near the Yorkshire Dales, could be down to people in rural areas using their cars more, it said.

Moneysupermarket's insurance expert Kevin Pratt said: "We think that rural areas score more highly, if that's the right word, because people tend to be more reliant on their cars.

"So perhaps they have to drive to get to the pub or go to a friend's house, and they drive back again when they have had a drink."

Drink-drive conviction

But a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said drink-driving was not acceptable under any circumstances.

"North Yorkshire Police focuses all year round on catching people who think it is OK to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol," he said.

"Drink driving costs lives, jobs, homes and relationships. It's not worth the risk."

Peter Roger, head of driving standards at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "It's interesting who comes out top... nearly all the top jobs are scaffolders, roofers - they're these kind of activities.

"This is probably because they are the kind of people who drive a lot for their job because they are in a different place every day... they are more vulnerable to the effects of drinking the following morning. Just having a sleep doesn't solve the problem - you can still be drunk the next day."

A drink-drive conviction affects premiums, adding up to 80% to quotes, he said.

"Young men typically are most at risk, if you try to break it down by age and sex, although there is a softening in the difference between young men and young women," Mr Roger added.

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