Drink Drive: Fatalities up 25%

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense

A Government report published yesterday (28 August 2019)* shows that the number of people killed in road accidents where the motorist was over the drink drive limit has risen 25% in two years.

There were 250 such deaths in 2017, compared with 200 in 2015.

The number of serious casualties has also increased over the same two year period from 1,170 to 1,380.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of personal breathalyser firm AlcoSense, comments: “Police carried out just 325,000 roadside breath tests in England and Wales in 2017 – a fall of 15% over the previous year and the lowest level since this data has been collected**

“The number of road traffic officers also decreased by 30% between 2007 and 2017.

“There’s a direct link between cuts in Police budgets and increased drink drive deaths.

“Together with the highest drink drive limit in the developed world, it’s a lethal cocktail.

“Studies show you are 13 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident when at the English limit, compared with being sober – and five times more likely at the lower Scottish limit**

“A two-pronged strategy of better enforcement, plus a drink drive limit across the UK in line with the rest of Europe, could save many lives each year,” concludes Hunter Abbott.

Abbott is a member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

* Department for Transport.  Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2017 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/827572/drink-drive-final-estimates-2017.pdf

** Police Powers and Procedures England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2018

*** Drugs and Alcohol: Their Relative Crash Risk, Romano et al. Published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol Drugs. Page 6, Table 6, BAC Model 1.