Provisional estimates for drink-drive related deaths in Great Britain is at a 10-year high. 

The latest figures show between 240 and 320 people were killed in collisions in 2019. These are cases where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit – leading the DfT to produce a central estimate of 280 deaths.

The provisional estimate for 2019 is higher than the 240 drink-drive fatalities in 2018. Despite the leap in numbers, the DfT describes the rise as ‘not statistically significant’.

However, this is the highest figure since 2009.

The official estimate of the number of drink-drive KSIs in 2019 is 2,110 – an increase of 11% from 2018. This is the highest level since 2011.

Out of line

Road safety charity Brake is calling on the Government to take urgent action on drink-driving. It wants a lowering of the limit in England and Wales from 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, to 50mg. This would bring it in-line with Scotland and the rest of Europe.

They believe the evidence is clear; any amount of alcohol impairs driving and so a zero-tolerance limit must be implemented.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake says: “The reported increase in drink-driving deaths is clearly cause for concern, with the estimated annual deaths now the highest for over a decade.

“Despite a supposedly proud road safety record, improvement on UK roads is stagnating and in need of a jump-start.

More police

Increasing deterrent and enforcement through raising the number of traffic officers on the road is also being called for. “The UK Government should consider all options, including increasing enforcement at the roadside, the use of alco-locks for those already convicted of driving under the influence”, says the RAC’s road safety spokesman Simon Williams. This should be alongside a new look at “reducing the drink-drive limit in England and Wales”.