Soaring temperatures can see more drink driving than Christmas, warns leading Essex road traffic lawyer

Pouring cold water over the assumption that Christmas and New Year are the peak times for drink-related accidents, one of South Essex’s leading road traffic lawyers has warned that June, July and August on average see more accidents than December and January.

Jeremy Sirrell, a Partner at Palmers Solicitors, which has offices in Basildon, Thurrock and South Woodham Ferrers – and, from this summer, Rayleigh – made the warning as Essex experiences some of the highest June temperatures for a generation.

The latest statistics from the Department for Transport covering the period from 2010 to 2014 show that more drink-related accidents took place on average in June, July and August than in December or January. In 2014, August saw more drink-related accidents than any other month.

In England and Wales, it is illegal to be in charge of a vehicle if you have more than 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. However it is impossible to say how many drinks this equates to; something which depends on a person’s weight, age, sex and metabolism, as well as several other factors.

Jeremy Sirrell said: “Public awareness of drink driving peaks each year around Christmas and New Year, but the statistics show that drink-related accidents are actually worse in the summer months.

“It is always safest not to get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. However, as alcohol consumption affects different people in different ways, it can be very difficult to tell how long to wait before getting back behind the wheel.

“It is important that employers of professional drivers are just as vigilant in the summer months as they are around Christmas and New Year, when it comes to the risk of an employee drink driving, potentially harming themselves, other road users and the business.”

Palmers Solicitors offers a free Guide to Road Traffic Offences, which is available to download from