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Drink-drive deaths at eight-year high

Published 14 February 2019

Drink-drive related road deaths are at their highest rate since 2009, according to Department for Transport (DfT) statistics.

Provisional estimates for 2017 show that between 240 and 330 people died in road accidents where drink-driving was a reported factor by the police, compared to the 220 and 250 recorded in 2016.

If the draft figures are correct then the “central estimate” of drink-drive deaths (290) will be 26 per cent higher than the 230 fatalities that were recorded in 2016. It will also mark an eight-year-high, since 380 drink-drive deaths were recorded in 2009.

The RAC has blamed police cuts for the increase, with irresponsible drivers now under the impression they can drink-drive with impunity. 

“This is a serious cause for alarm and reflects a worrying change in attitude by a number of drivers who are prepared to risk their own life and that of others by drinking and driving."

“This is a major issue for society and we need to refocus our efforts to raise awareness of the risks,” said RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams.

“This is a serious cause for alarm and reflects a worrying change in attitude by a number of drivers who are prepared to risk their own life and that of others by drinking and driving. Anyone who has lost a loved-one in a drink-driving accident will testify to how devastating and needless this is.”

The DfT estimates that 1400 people were serious injured in drink-drive accidents, up on the 1250 reported in 2016. However, while more people are being reportedly killed and seriously hurt, the total number of alcohol related road casualties fell from 9040 to 8660 in 2017.

In total there were 1793 reported road deaths in 2017, similar to the levels seen since 2012.

The DfT has stressed that the final drink-drive figures may differ from the estimates when they are published in full in August 2019. 

Comments

Captain-Cretin    on 15 February 2019

Reliance on cameras and not on Police patrols means that most drink drivers have no fear of being stopped; add the fact that the last time I was in an accident, even after requesting we were both breathalysed, the Police spent 2 1/2 hours trying to track down a working meter, and eventually gave up.

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