Provisional estimates released by the Department for Transport show that between 240 and 330 people were killed in accidents in GB in 2017 where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit - the highest since 2009. An estimated 8,660 people were killed or injured a fall of 4% compared with 2016.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “Looking at these estimated figures there could be an increase of up to a 33% in the number of road deaths resulting from an accident where one or more drivers was over the drink-drive limit. 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.
“Research for the latest RAC Report on Motoring revealed the proportion of drivers who admitted to driving when they thought or knew they were over the legal limit shortly after drinking has increased by 50% - from 8% to 12%. Significantly, a quarter (24%) of all drivers aged 25 to 44 admitted to this and almost a third (32%) of London drivers said they had done this.
“Fears about other drivers being under the influence of drink is now a top-five issue for motorists with 27% rating it as a concern, up from 22% in 2016.”
“With the reduced number of roads policing officers it appears more drivers are thinking they can get away with drinking and driving. However this is a major issue for society and we need to refocus our efforts to raise awareness of the risks.”