Are Police Cuts Responsible For Drink Drive Spike?

Wed 27th Nov 2019

Worrying new statistics released by the Department for Transport show that drink drive deaths on UK roads have hit their highest level since 2009.

The DftT data reveals that there were 250 drink-drive related deaths in 2017, accounting for 14% of all casualties on Britain’s roads and up 9% from 2016.

The jump coincides with a falling number of full-time police officers according to data published by Vantage Leasing. The number of police on the streets has been cut by 17 per cent due to budget cuts, with the volume of roadside breathalyser tests dropping by a shocking 55 per cent.

Rob Walker, managing director of Vantage Leasing, said: “Drink-driving remains a serious issue for UK road safety. 

“Since 2010, we've seen a 17 per cent drop in full-time police numbers. At the same time, drink drive fatalities and serious accidents have gone up. 

“While having more officers won't solve the problem of drink-driving entirely, they will undoubtedly help reduce the issue.”
The figures show that there were 737,000 breath tests conducted in 2010, compared to just 326,000 seven years later and that in 2017 there was a higher proportion of drivers found to be over the limit.

The news comes ahead of one of the worst months for drink driving with Christmas seeing a rise in the number of roadside checks.