YOUNG motorists are five times more likely to drink and drive if their parents do it, according to a new study.
A survey of 251 motorists aged 17-25 found that 37 per cent admit to driving when over the alcohol limit.
But among those who said their parents drink-drive, 70 per cent confessed to also doing it, compared to just 14 per cent of those who have not seen their parents drunk behind the wheel.
Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, which commissioned the research, said: “The immediate risks that those who drink-drive pose to other road users are widely known and very serious, but the knock-on impact on younger generations is extremely worrying.
“By drink-driving, parents are unofficially sanctioning this behaviour and as a result, young drivers are far more likely to put themselves and other road users at risk by driving whilst intoxicated.”
A separate study reveals that mornings are the time when there could be the highest number of drink drivers on the road during the festive period.
The research found that the previous night is the most popular date for Christmas parties, meaning Saturday could see the most people taking to the roads over the legal drink-drive limit.
A survey of 2,000 Britons found that 29 per cent admit to driving the morning after drinking when they believed they may still be over the legal limit.
Some 38 per cent think it will not be legal for them to drive the morning after a Christmas party this year, but more than one in four (26 per cent) are planning to get behind the wheel before 10am.
Latest Department for Transport figures show there were 230 drink-drive fatalities in Britain in 2013.