THE number of women convicted of drink-driving has almost doubled in recent years, a survey has shown.

Women accounted for nine per cent of drink-drive convictions in 1998, but this figure had risen to 17 per cent by 2012, the survey revealed.

From car insurance company Direct Line and transport organisation the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, the survey also showed that 17 per cent of female motorists thought they had driven while over the legal alcohol limit in the past year.

As many as 60 per cent of the women polled said they did not know the legal limit and in almost all cases, respondents felt they were personally able to drink more alcohol than the “average woman” before they were over the legal limit.

Among the women who admitted to drink-driving, the most common reason for doing so was because they felt physically “okay” to drive, as cited by 59 per cent.

Almost a third thought it would be fine if they just drove carefully, while 17 per cent felt they had no alternative other than to drink and drive, often due to “family emergencies”.

A further 14 per cent said they drove while over the limit because they thought there was little risk of being caught. Road safety minister Robert Goodwill said: “Drink-driving wrecks lives, and the personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction can be devastating.”