An average of 26 people are killed or seriously injured in a crash involving a drink driver, suggesting some motorists are still not getting the message.
There were 1,350 deaths and serious injuries in 2013 involving motorists over the limit, according to the most recent government figures ─ 12 per cent of which comprised males aged between 20 and 29.
The number of crashes involving a driver the legal limit of alcohol has dropped by 930 between 2010 and 2013 down to 5,690, but the number of deaths has remained around 240 over the same period.
Assuming the average holds true, 66 motorists could end up opening their presents in a hospital bed between now and Christmas day, if at all. The first provisional estimates for deaths in 2014 is between 240 and 340.
It’s not all doom and gloom, mind you. The total number of casualties of all severities in drink drive collisions dropped to 8,270 in 2013, a 17 per cent improvement on 2012 and the lowest on record.
Road safety charity Brake is using the figures to highlight the fact male drivers in their twenties are continuing to ignore the dangers of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, and has urged the government to consider a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to alcohol and driving.
Brake Campaign and communications director Gary Rae said: “Drink and drug driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes; often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently they are the tragic victims.
“We must continue to send a clear message to all drivers, but especially young men, that drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail. It’s shocking to see how many crashes, many involving deaths and serious injuries, have involved men in their twenties.
“We are calling on the UK government to introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit”
To try and educate drivers, particularly those who are younger, Brake has created an interactive e-learning resource, which can be found here.
Is a zero tolerance approach to alcohol what Britain needs, or should drivers still make the decision whether they are safe to drive? Let us know.