SCOTS drivers are the worst in the UK for driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances, a new report has revealed.

A study of 12 million insurance claims has shown four of the 10 UK areas with the highest rate of motorists who have a drink or drug-driving conviction can be found north of the Border.

Aberdeen tops the league, followed by Inverness, with Dundee in fourth place behind Swansea, which indicates areas with a large rural population are more likely to have a higher rate of offenders.

Kirkcaldy in Fife is said to have the ninth-highest rate in the UK behind places such as Stoke-on-Trent and Cardiff, according to the study carried out by comparison website

Simon Best, chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motoring, said there was no excuse for driving after drinking or taking drugs.

He said: "Lack of public ­transport is no excuse for any driver to risk a journey under the influence. Offenders may think they stand more chance of getting away with it in quiet rural areas but these roads are actually the most dangerous, with more fatalities than on city streets.

"An alcohol-induced lapse of concentration can lead to unsurvivable high-speed crashes. A hard day's work may seem a good justification for a quick pint on the way home but responsibility for your and others safety comes with every driving licence."

Motorists in the north of ­Scotland are the most likely to have a conviction, with an overall rate of 1.51 per 1000 quotes for insurance, double that of those living in the Greater London region where there were 0.77 convictions per 1000.

As well as identifying drink or drug-driving hotspots, the report also looked at which jobs offenders are most likely to do.

Blue-collar occupations in male-dominated industries such as scaffolding and the building trade topped the list, while those with white-collar professions were less likely to offend.

According to data, midwives had the fewest convictions followed by paramedics, researchers and police officers.

The car insurance figures also showed men and women aged between 20 and 24 were most likely to have a conviction, with 2.3 recorded per 1000 quotes per year, while drivers aged from 50 to 64 are less likely to offend.

However, men are also more than twice as likely to have a drink or drug conviction than women, with a rate of 1.4 per 1000 compared to a rate of 0.6 for female drivers.

Stiff penalties have been ­introduced for those caught driving under the influence, with people caught breaking the law facing fines of up to £5000, a 12-month driving ban or a possible prison sentence.

Drivers may also see insurance premiums go up by an average of £315 and some may struggle to find a provider prepared to insure them if they have a prior drink or drugs-driving conviction.

Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at, said: "The festive season is approaching fast, and many look forward to an extra tipple to get into the party spirit.

"But few people understand how long it takes for the effects of alcohol to wear off and how long it can take for their blood alcohol level to read below the legal drink drive limit.

"Driving when you're unfit to do so not only puts the safety of the driver and any passengers at risk, but it also endangers other road users and pedestrians."