Drink-drive casualties in UK at four-year high

The number of drink-drive casualties has reached a four-year high, figures show.

An estimated 9,040 people were injured or killed on Britain’s roads in 2016 in incidents where a driver was over the alcohol limit, according to the Department for Transport.

The figure, an increase of 7% on the previous year, represents about one in 20 of all casualties in reported road accidents in 2016.

An estimated 230 people died in drink-drive crashes during the year, up from 200 in 2015.

Joshua Harris, the director of campaigns at the road safety charity Brake, said the law gave a “false impression” that it was safe to drink and drive, adding that “even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving”.

Scotland reduced the legal alcohol limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg in December 2014. In the rest of the UK it remains 80mg.

Harris said: “How many more lives must be needlessly lost before the government acts on drink-driving? Today’s figures show that drink-driving is an increasing blight on British roads and yet the government sits on its hands and refuses to address the issue.”

“Brake is calling for the government to implement an effective zero-tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”

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