Number of drink-drive casualties hit four-year high

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The number of people killed or injured in drink-drive related crashes has risen to a four-year high, according to government data.

The latest report from the Department for Transport shows an estimated 9,040 people were killed or seriously injured in drink-drive incidents in 2016 – the latest year for which data is available.

That is a seven per cent rise over 2015 and the highest number since 2012.

The DfT report also shows that fatalities were up 18 per cent on 2015 to 230, prompting calls from campaigners for a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving.

Increasing blight

Overall, accidents involving at least one driver over the drink-drive limit increased by six per cent to 6,070 and accounted for four per cent of all crashes.

The figures have prompted safety campaigners to demand a rethink of the current drink-driving law, labelling it unclear and badly understood.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, 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.

“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe 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.

“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving.”