Brake urges zero-tolerance approach

Drink driving casualties have reached a four-year high in the UK, according to figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT).

It estimated that 9,040 people were killed or injured in Britain in drink-drive accidents in 2016, the highest number since 2012 and a seven per cent rise from the year before.

The DfT said the rise was not ‘statistically significant’, but campaigners have reacted by urging government to address legislation surrounding the issue. In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

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 government should put its money where its mouth is and align the law with the message from its ‘Think!’ campaign: ‘if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road’. Only this zero-tolerance approach can create the change required to rid our roads of the menace of drink-driving.’

A DfT spokeswoman said, ‘Drink-driving is completely unacceptable, which is why there are tough penalties and rigorous enforcement in place for those who do this. The latest statistics do not show a statistically significant increase in drink-driving fatalities. Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and the number of fatalities has fallen by 44% over the last 10 years, but we are determined to do more.’