News from Brake
Thursday, 9 August 2018
The Department for Transport has today (Thursday 9 August) published statistics on drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 . This shows drink-driving deaths and injuries are at the highest level since 2012 and that there has been an estimated increase in the number of road deaths, the number of injuries, and the total number of crashes relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit.
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said:
“How many more lives must be needlessly lost before the Government acts on drink-driving? Today’s figures show that drink-driving is an increasing blight on British roads and yet the Government sits on its hands and refuses to address the issue. The Government should put its money where its mouth is and align the law with the message from its 'Think!’ campaign: “if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road”. Only this zero-tolerance approach can create the change required to rid our roads of the menace of drink-driving.”
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth. Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with levels of alcohol in their blood just half the current legal limit are at least twice more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all.”
“Our current drink-driving law lacks clarity, is badly understood and supports the perception that mixing alcohol and driving is acceptable – this needs to change. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
Notes to editors
 Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels, Department for Transport
Final estimates of casualties in accidents involving at least one driver or rider over the drink-drive limit in Great Britain for 2016 show that:
- between 220 and 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents, with a central estimate of 230 fatalities
- the increase in drink-drive fatalities since 2015 is not statistically significant, continuing a period of stability recorded since 2010
- an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured in drink-drive accidents, a rise of 7% since 2015
- the total number of drink-drive accidents rose by 6% to 6,070 in 2016
 Brake ‘Driving for zero’ campaign
Referenced research from WHO Global status report on road safety, 2015
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport 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.
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.