12 September 2008

A third of us drive drunk

TNS Research Survey has found that up to a third of South African motorists drive drunk.

A third of South Africa's metropolitan motorists drive drunk, TNS Research Surveys has found.

The survey polled 2000 adults in seven metropolitan areas as part of a series of studies on issues of general social and political interest. It said the study asked adults whether, in the past six months, they had driven a vehicle having drunk more alcohol than they should have.

In all, 16% said they had, 82% said they had not and 2% did not know. Of those who confessed, black drivers were the most likely to offend (18%), followed by white and coloured drivers who were nearly level pegging at 14% and 13% respectively, with Indians/Asians the most responsible at 8%. However, when broken down by sex, white men turn out to be the worst offenders: 19% of them admitted to driving drunk in the last six months.

"This translates to about 1.9 million people out of the total metro population of around 12 million," TNS said. "It is very roughly estimated that there are about eight million licensed drivers in South Africa of which probably about six million are in metropolitan areas. This means that an astounding one-third of metro drivers have driven a vehicle in the last six months having knowingly had more alcohol than they should."

West Rand drivers the 'worst'
There was no significant variation either by age or income although there were major differences by city. Of the respondents who admitted to driving drunk, most were on the West Rand at 36%, followed by the Vaal Triangle and South Rand at 29% and Johannesburg at 26%.

"Of course, these figures are also influenced by the prevalence of people with driving licenses in each city," TNS said. "Nonetheless, there are some clear pointers in that Gauteng generally (and especially the Johannesburg area and the West Rand, but less so in Soweto) has some alarming numbers. The coastal cities are generally lower, with Bloemfontein having the lowest results." – (Sapa, September 2008)

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