Fatalities resulting from drink drive collisions increased for the first time in 10 years – by 12% in 2011, compared with 2010 – according to a new Department for Transport (DfT) report.
‘Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2011 provisional estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels’, reveals that drink drive fatalities increased from 250 in 2010 to 280 in 2011; seriously injured casualties rose by 3% (from 1,250 to 1,290); and casualties sustaining slight injuries from drink drive collisions also increased by 3% (from 8,210 to 8,430).
Total casualties resulting from drink drive collisions rose by 3% (from 9,700 to 9,990); the number of fatal drink drive collisions rose by 18%; and overall drink drive collisions rose by 2% (from 6,630 to 6,730).
Fatalities resulting from drink drive collisions represented 15% of all road fatalities in 2011.
The proportion of drivers either failing or refusing to take a breath test following a road collision has remained relatively stable, at 3% between 2010 and 2011.
In 2011, 4% of male drivers failed or refused a breath test, while 2% of female drivers failed or refused.
For male drivers in 2011, 20 – 24 year olds were most likely to fail or refuse a breath test following a collision, at 7%. At 3% this was also the case with female drivers.
In 2011, 54% of drivers involved in road collisions were tested for breath-alcohol levels. This proportion has remained relatively stable across the last three years.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: "Any rise in drink drive casualties is worrying, with 15% of all road fatalities involving a drink driver there is clearly more to be done to reduce casualties.
“The problem is many crashes occur the morning after – there needs to be more education on the effects of driving after drinking. A heavy night drinking could leave you over the limit the morning after. The message to all drivers is don’t drink and drive.”
Click here to read the full DfT report.