Home General Drink Driving Death Toll Highest in Over 10 Years

Drink Driving Death Toll Highest in Over 10 Years

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nearly a fifth of all road deaths are caused by alcohol as experts urge Westminster to “flatten the curve”. Figures released by the Department of Transport show that the number of drink-drive fatalities in 2021 reached the highest recorded rate since 2009.

An estimated 260 deaths were recorded in 2021 in Great Britain, where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit. This represents 17% of all deaths in reported road collisions in 2021.

In 2016, the fatalities involving a driver over the drink-drive limit was 13%. Similarly, the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) drink-drive casualties in 2021 was reported at 1,880, which has risen by 23% since 2020. The report also paints a regional picture of where road collisions involving alcohol are highest.

Overall, 5% of casualties in reported road collisions in Great Britain in 2021 occurred in collisions in which at least one driver or rider was over the drink-drive limit. 

Scotland has a lower drink-drive limit (22 micrograms (mg) per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath or 50 mg per 100ml of blood) than England and Wales (35 mg per 100ml of breath or 80 mg per 100ml of blood).

The percentage of all casualties in drink-drive collisions was the highest in Wales at 7.3%, followed by England at 5.2% and Scotland at 4.1%. Within the English regions, the casualty rates varied from 7.0% in the East Midlands to 2.5% in Greater London.

The Scottish Government introduced stricter rules on the drink-drive limit in December 2014 in a bid to save lives on Scotland’s roads. England and Wales still have one of the highest drink-driving limits in Europe. 

Nuno Albuquerque, head of treatment at alcohol addiction specialists the UK Addiction Treatment Group comments: “We know first-hand how alcohol can destroy lives, in both direct and indirect ways, but reports like these bring the sad truth to life.

“Some of these drink-driving incidents would have been spontaneous acts of stupidity, but some would have undoubtedly happened because the individual has a problem with alcohol and is simply trying to function and continue their everyday life.

“The changes to drink driving laws in Scotland have a positive effect. We’d urge Westminster to review the laws for England and Wales in an attempt to flatten the curve.”

The report reveals a higher proportion of casualties in drink-drive collisions were aged between 25 and 59 than in all reported collisions in 2021 (64% in drink-drive collisions compared to 58% in all collisions). The same was true for people aged 16 to 24 (24% in drink-drive collisions compared to 20% in all collisions).

Males made up 70% of drivers involved in all collisions where the sex of the driver is known.

24/7 confidential help and advice with alcohol addiction is available.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd