Sharp increase in drink-drive deaths revealed

The number of people killed as a result of drink-driving has risen steeply, as official Government figures reveal as many as 280 people lost their lives in 2016. This figure accounts for accidents in which “at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.”

The figures show between 200 and 280 people died as a result of drink-driving in 2016 – the most recent year for which data is available – bucking a general trend which has seen drink-drive deaths drop year-on-year.

Road fatalities reach a five-year high in Britain

The statistics, released by the Department for Transport (DfT), put a provisional “central” figure of drink-drive deaths for 2016 at 240, but acknowledge the total number could be as high as 280. Those figures contrast sharply with 2015, when 200 people died in drink-drive accidents.

Injuries caused by drink-driving have also risen steeply, with the provisional data showing 9,050 people were injured in drink-drive accidents in 2016, compared to 8,470 in 2015. The total number of accidents in which at least one driver was over the limit also rose, from 5,730 in 2015 to 6,080 in 2016 – a six per cent increase.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said “hard-core drink-drivers” were partly to blame, but called for greater detail in the way figures are recorded.

Counsens said: “The statistics need to show the breakdown of accidents by time of day to assess the proportion of drivers getting drunk at the pub versus those drinking at home who become a particular menace the morning after.”

Cousens added that in the face of declining traffic police numbers, more officers were needed in order to target “people in places where there is most likely to be” a problem.

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