Drink drive figures remain ‘disappointing’.

IAM RoadSmart believes the latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures reveal a decade of no improvement in drink-drive related deaths on UK roads continues.

More worrying, the rate of drink-drive related crashes actually went up. This is despite the fact that traffic fell during the first nine months due to the pandemic and lockdowns. Added to that is the fact that more than one in six of all fatal crashes involved alcohol. This compares to to around one in seven in previous years.

Less means more

Final estimates for 2020 reveal 220 people died in crashes where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit compared to 230 in 2019.

The total number of crashes where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit was 4,620 in 2020, an average of 12 crashes a day. Of these crashes, an estimated 1,070 were serious accidents. While it represents an average of around 26 serious accidents a week, it is a fall from 1,390 in 2019.

Complicated picture

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, says “there is no one simple answer”.

He believes a much smarter package of measures is needed from the Government. These should include  a lower drink-drive limit, fast-track of evidential roadside testing and tailored approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems.

“Rehabilitation courses work,” states Neil. “We believe all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically rather than having to opt in. More use of alcolocks and extra penalties such as vehicle forfeiture could all be part of a more joined-up approach to the problem. Hard core drink-drivers are simply not getting the message, and these figures will not improve until policy changes.”

The full report from DfT can be found here.