One in 30 motorists is guilty of driving while over the legal alcohol limit the ‘morning after’ a night of drinking, according to research.

Police data, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, revealed that the number of drivers getting behind the wheel the morning after consuming alcohol is on the rise.

In 2012, the number of arrests made against drink-drivers between the hours of 6am and 8am was four per cent higher than 2011. Findings suggest that the increase is due to a lack of awareness among drivers about how long it takes for alcohol to leave their system.

During December, figures show that drink driving peaks across the UK, with over 10 per cent of annual incidents occurring during the festive period.

Tom Jones, head of policy and public affairs at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Motorists have a responsibility to make sure they are safe to drive regardless of whether they think they’ve eaten enough to absorb the alcohol, slept it off or just ‘feel’ fine.

“There is advice available about how long it takes for alcohol to clear your system from the NHS. And professionals like train drivers would never take the risk. ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, operates a strict policy on alcohol abuse and employees are randomly screened throughout the day to test for alcohol levels.

“Alcohol tolerance varies according to age, metabolism, gender and weight. It’s a gamble not worth taking when the bottom line is people’s lives are put at risk the moment a motorist is driving over the limit during the festive period, or otherwise.”