This shows that an estimated 8,700 people were killed or injured in crashes involving at least one drink driver, an increase of 1% from 8,600 in 2017.

The number of total crashes involving a drink driver is also estimated to have increased slightly by 4% to 5,900 from 5,730 in 2017.

The number of people killed in crashes where one driver was over the drink drive limit is, however, estimated to have fallen by 4% reaching a central estimate of 240 down from 250 in 2017. [1]

The figures come as England and Wales now stand alone with the highest drink drive limit in the whole of Europe at 0.8mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, after Malta, the previous joint highest, lowered their drink drive limit to 0.5mg of alcohol in 100ml per litre of blood in 2018. [2]

Commenting Josh Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “With thousands of people still being killed and injured at the hands of drink-drivers every year, and little sign of this situation improving, decisive action needs to be taken. We’re calling on the Government to lower the limit and implement an effective zero tolerance on drink-driving, making clear to drivers that when you’re behind the wheel, not a drop of alcohol is safe.

"We need to change the culture around drink driving and that starts with changing a limit which gives a false impression that it is acceptable to mix alcohol and driving - this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect your ability to drive safely and the law should reflect this reality.”

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