Drink-driving deaths reach eight-year high with up to 330 fatalities in 2017Fri, 01/03/2019
Research has revealed that in 2017 there was an estimated 26% increase in the number of fatalities caused by drink-driving compared to the year before.
James Gratton, The Sun, reports:
New provisional figures from the Department of Transport show between 240 to 330 people were killed in 2017 due to accidents involving at least one driver over the limit.
The centrally estimated 290 fatalities represents a 26 per cent increase on 2016.
And that number would also demonstrate an eight-year high in drink-drive deaths on UK roads, after 380 people were killed in 2009.
Research by RAC found the number of motorists who admitted to driving when they knew they were over the legal limit had increased from eight per cent to 12 per cent.
The numbers were significantly higher for drivers aged 25 to 44, with almost a quarter admitting to driving over the limit.
The increase is thought to be associated with a major drop in police numbers, with 20,000 officers leaving the force since 2010, and drivers believing they have a better chance of getting away with drink-driving.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “Looking at these estimated figures there could be an increase of up to a 33 per cent 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 doubled from eight per cent to 12 per cent.
"Significantly, a quarter of all drivers aged 25 to 44 admitted to this and almost a third of London drivers said they had done this.
“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.”
If you're caught drink driving, you face a hefty fine, road ban and can even imprisoned depending on the severity of your offence.
Drivers who cause death by careless driving when under the influence can be hit with an unlimited fine, a two-year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison.
A recent study revealed the UK drivers are just as likely to get caught over the legal limit the morning after a big night.
Around 28 per cent of drink-driving arrests happen the morning after drinking.
Whether or not the increase in fatalities can be attributed to the decline of police numbers, more should be done to raise the awareness of the potentially severe consequences that drink-driving could cause.