An estimated three million UK adults admit driving with children in the car after having consumed alcohol, according to new research. The study by car insurance firm Churchill found almost a quarter of motorists feel confident in their abilities to drive after having an alcoholic drink.

The survey of 2,000 British adults revealed 22 percent say they would be “confident” driving a vehicle after consuming an alcoholic drink, and more than a third of those (36 percent) said they have done so before driving with children in the car. Assuming Churchill’s survey quizzed a representative cross-section of the public at large, that means as many as 3.2 million motorists could have done this.

A third (34 percent) of drivers who would be comfortable driving after drinking said they would do so after two or more 330 ml cans of beer, while a quarter (25 percent) would have two or more small glasses of wine. Both amounts come to around 3.3 units of alcohol.

Man drinking beer and holding car keys

More than a quarter of drivers (27 percent) would drive after drinking two or more single spirits with a mixer, which would equate to around one unit per drink. But 25 percent said they would drive after drinking two pints of beer (around 4.5 units) or more. Oddly, a third of drivers (33 percent) said they’d feel comfortable driving after drinking a double spirit with a mixer, whereas just 19 percent said they’d feel comfortable after two single spirits, even though they contain the same number of units.

In light of these findings, and with lockdown eased and self-isolation rules binned for fully vaccinated people, Churchill is warning drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving. The company’s research shows August has the highest number of drink driving arrests of any month, with 239 every day. July and September follow closely with 233 a day and 222 a day respectively.

“Now restrictions have lifted, and people have begun to return to their busy social lives, it is important to remember to have fun yet stay sensible,” said Nicholas Mantel, the head of motor insurance at Churchill. “Driving when drinking alcohol can be incredibly dangerous, for the drivers, passengers, and other road users. If you are planning to drink, think about how you’ll be travelling home and choose a designated driver – perhaps take it in turns with your friends or partner to make sure you all get home safely.”

Group of friends toasting drinks and having fun at the nightclub