Young male drivers still risking their lives and others' by drink driving

7 December 2015
Brake, the road safety charity

While crashes caused by drink drivers are continuing to fall slightly, some drivers are still not getting the message about the dangers, especially men in their 20s who are still the most prolific offenders.

The number of crashes where at least one driver was over the limit dropped by 930 between 2010 and 2013 (6620 in 2010 and 5690 in 2013), but the number of people killed in that kind of crash has remained at around the same level – 240 per year since 2010.

Almost 13% of men aged between 20 and 29, who were breathalysed after a crash in 2014, were over the legal drink-drive limit and another 5% had some alcohol in their system.

• More than one in 10 male drivers aged 20 – 29 involved in crashes are over the legal drink-drive limit (actual figure 12% 20 – 24 and 13% 25 – 29 in 2014 from latest available figures)

• On average 26 people are killed or seriously injured each week in a crash involving a drink-driver (1350 deaths and serious injuries in 2013  latest available figures)

On average almost 26 people are killed or seriously injured in drink-drive crashes per week in Great Britain.

That means, between now and 25 December, another 66 people could end up opening presents in hospital beds, or simply not at all, after being involved in a drink-drive crash.

The safest thing to do is not to drink any alcohol at all if you are planning to get behind the wheel of a car or on a motorbike. This is why Brake is calling for a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol and driving.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake 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 20s. We are calling on the UK government to introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit"

Brake has produced a free interactive e-learning resource to bust myths around drink- and drug-driving and convey the horrendous risks, particularly geared at young people.
'Sober up' can be used by anyone who works with young people or drivers, including: driving instructors; teachers; youth workers; community leaders; employers; and emergency services and road safety professionals.

Note to Editors

Brake is campaigning for zero tolerance on drink- and drug-driving

Tweet your support: @Brakecharity, #NotADrop, #NotADrag

• Make Brake's Pledge, including a commitment to 'not a drop, not a drag'

For more information please see our drink-drive road safety fact information here:

Some key facts from the latest Department for Transport statistics

Around 14% of all deaths in reported road traffic collisions in 2013 involved at least one driver over the drink-drive limit.

The number of seriously injured casualties in drink-drive collisions decreased by 8% from 1,200 in 2012 to 1,100 in 2013.

The total number of casualties of all severities in drink-drive collisions for 2013 was 8,270, down 17% on the 2012 figure and the lowest total on record.

The first provisional estimates for 2014 suggest there were between 240 and 340 deaths in drink-drive crashes.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.


(Table index number RAS51018)


Tags: Drink-Drive speed young drivers alcohol