New provisional data released by the Department for Transport (DfT) indicates that the number of reported drink-drive accidents and casualties in Great Britain has reached its highest level in almost a decade.
The figures for 2017, released in February, reveal that an estimated 290 deaths were attributable to accidents where one of the drivers was over the drink-drive limit.
While year-on-year this could mean an increase of 26% compared with 2016, the Guardian reports that the DfT says the increase is “not statistically significant”.
Despite this increase, the number of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers failing breath tests following an accident was just 21, of a total of 3191 drivers tested. This has remained relatively stable at between 25 and 20 failed breath tests for HGV drivers since 2013.
Quoted in the Guardian a DfT spokesman said: “Drink-driving is absolutely deplorable and those who do it not only put their own lives at risk but other people’s too.
“The government is working with industry to develop new roadside breath tests, meaning drink-drivers do not have the chance to sober up before being tested, while the Think! Mates Matter campaign had the biggest impact on young drivers’ attitudes to drink-driving in a decade.
“We are also looking at how to make our roads safer as part of our upcoming road safety action plan.”
There were an estimated 8,660 drink-drive related injuries and deaths in total in 2017.