Drunk Drivers Account For 15% Of Deaths

Thu 4th Aug 2022

New data published by the Department of Transport shows that there is still a huge issue with drink driving on the roads in the UK.

The latest analysis, based on the latest data available from 2020, shows that while there was a slight fall in the number of people killed drink drive incidents, they still accounted for 15% of all deaths. The analysis also shows that the number of drink-drive incidents in 2020 was 6,480, with between 200 and 240 of those being fatal.

While the figures show that there are no real changes to the annual picture, the analysis may be skewed by the fact that due to the pandemic 2020 was something of an anomaly in that there were far fewer vehicles on the roads. Compared to the previous year (2019), there was a 17 per cent reduction in drunk-driving death or injury, but Hunter Abbott, managing director of breathalyser firm AlcoSense believes that the data does not paint the full picture.

“The fall in overall drink drive casualties needs to be viewed in the context of Covid,” Abbott said.

“Traffic was down by a quarter in 2020, with weekdays slumping to 35% of pre-Covid levels in April.

“What these figures don’t tell you, however, is how many more casualties were caused by ‘lethal but legal’ drivers – those who were above the point of intoxication where effects on cognitive function occur, but below the official drink drive limit.

“The UK Government should bring our limit down to help remove legal but lethal drivers from our roads.”

While drink-drive collisions may be at a record low, the RAC’s road safety spokesperson Simon Williams also urged caution and called for more roadside action to take be taken by police forces.

“Unfortunately, the wider picture shows the percentage of drink-drive fatalities on our roads as a proportion of all fatalities has increased, meaning the campaign against drink-driving is just as important as it has ever been,” Williams said.

“Drivers themselves tell us they want to see more roadside breathalyser testing taking place as well as alcolocks fitted to vehicles of repeat drink-drivers to prevent them from reoffending. Our message is simple and stark: if you’ve been drinking, don’t drive.”