Follow BT News

New survey reveals laws Brits regularly break

Press release   •   Jul 24, 2017 16:33 BST

From gesturing to other road users and being drunk in a pub, to vacuuming after 1pm at the weekend, Brits admit to regularly breaking the law, according to research by BT TV, to mark the UK network premiere of “Better Call Saul”. In fact, Brits commit, on average, 32 crimes each year.

Singing Happy Birthday in a restaurant is the law almost half of Brits (48 per cent) admit to breaking, yet, 98 per cent of people consider themselves to be law abiding. Two thirds (67 per cent) of people polled think many of these laws are completely unnecessary – and as many admit they feel guilty if they break them. But, 84 per cent of people say they are confused by what is and isn’t illegal.

A third of people (33 per cent) revealed they have been caught doing something illegal – with 36 per cent claiming they simply weren’t paying attention. More than one in 10 (13 per cent) didn’t realise they were committing a crime.

Commissioned to celebrate AMC showing “Better Call Saul” on BT TV on Tuesdays at 9pm, the study of 2,000 UK adults found that 1.52pm on a Saturday is when people are most likely to break the law.

10 laws people break:

  1. Sang Happy Birthday in a restaurant (48 per cent)
  2. Drank alcohol under the age of 18 (47 per cent)
  3. Sworn or gestured to other road users (40 per cent)
  4. Eaten or drank whilst driving (39 per cent)
  5. Vacuumed between the hours of 6pm and 8am on a weekday or 1pm and 8am on a Saturday or Sunday (36 per cent)
  6. Parked partly on a pavement (34 per cent)
  7. Cycled on pavements (33 per cent)
  8. Speeding whilst driving (32 per cent)
  9. Beeped a horn for any reason other than alerting traffic (31 per cent)
  10. Been drunk on the street, or in a pub or restaurant (30 per cent)

Three in five (60 per cent) respondents said it bothers them when they see others breaking the law – even if it’s something relatively small. On average, UK adults spot people doing something they shouldn’t four times a day – although just ten per cent would ever confront the offender.

The offences that leave people frustrated when they see someone committing them include using a mobile phone while driving, people dropping litter and cycling through a red light.

The research comes as “Better Call Saul” star, Jimmy McGill has set up a new office in the UK, in the village of Saul in Gloucestershire to mark the network premiere of his show on BT TV. Mr McGill chose a BT phone box on Framilode Passage for his new ‘office’. Those in need of advice on these laws can reach Jimmy McGill on 0800 345 7285 (SAUL).

A statement from Jimmy McGill, said: “I am proud to announce the first J M McGill Attorney at Law office outside of Albuquerque. I have chosen England as my new base after finding out that those folks with a stiff upper lip have some ridiculous laws. Only within England and Wales can someone get into legal trouble for having one too many drinks, vacuuming in the evening, dressing up as a sailor and even flying a kite in a park… crazy Brits.”

“Better Call Saul” is available to BT customers in the UK on AMC – on BT TV channel 332. AMC is also available in HD on both BT TV and Sky with an HD subscription[1]. The fifth episode airs at 9pm on Tuesday 25 July.

Images are available at the following links:

Images and press assets fromBetterCallSaul”:

Notes to editors

A survey of 2,000 UK adults by Onepoll on behalf of BT on 22 June 2017.

[1] Customers must opt in to receive the AMC channel

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit