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Drink Drive Deaths on UK Roads Soar by 26 Per Cent

The number of deaths occurring on Britain’s roads as a result of drink-driving has soared by 26% according to recent provisional figures.

In a document published in 2013 it has been revealed that 290 people were killed on Britain’s roads as a result of drink-driving in 2012, this represents a significant increase on the 230 killed in 2011 according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

A further 6,680 non-fatal road accidents were also attributed to alcohol consumption.

Since records started in 1979, when 1,640 drink-drive deaths were recorded, the numbers began to decline reaching an all-time low in 2011.

Mounting concerns

However, in 2012 the number of deaths connected to drink-driving surged by 26%, but the DfT did state that this percentage is still 25% down on figures in 2009 (when 380 deaths occurred). Furthermore, it was 40% lower than the average figures between 2005 and 2009.

In 2012, 1,210 people involved in drink-drive related road accidents suffered a serious injury and a further 8,500 suffered minor scrapes.

Among those killed in drink-drive collisions 68% of car drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists were over the legal alcohol limit.

Other victims were road users involved in an incident, but not necessarily in violation of the legal alcohol limit themselves.

In light of the 2012 figures the Head of Road Safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa), Kevin Clinton, called for a reduced drink-drive limit and more stringent enforcement of current laws.

In a statement he said: “Often it is an innocent person who suffers, not just the driver who was over the drink-drive limit.”

In a statement from David Bizley, of the RAC motoring organisation, he said: “These figures are a cause for concern. Clearly more needs to be done to ensure that the anti drink-driving message pioneered by the Government’s THINK! campaign really sticks with motorists up and down the country.”

It’s understood that the DfT extracted the provisional figures from a series of coroners’ reports, with official figures expected to be released in 2014.

Much emphasis has been placed on the fact that the data is only provisional; in 2011 the provisional data released regarding drink-driving fatalities was over-estimated.

In addition to drink-driving fatalities the DfT also released provisional statistics for all kinds of road accidents that occurred between January and March 2013.

Still in its infancy the data reads as follows:

* 340 people were killed in reported road accidents – 18% down on the same period in 2012

* Serious injuries saw a 19% drop, and slight injuries fell by 14%

* Motorcyclist, cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries fell sharply

The DfT attributes the decline in accidents to cold weather.

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