Drink-drive accidents highest since 2010 as police numbers at 10-year low

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

New Department for Transport data has revealed that the number of serious accidents and road fatalities related to drink driving are the highest since 2010.

Over the same period, there’s been a significant drop in full-time police officers, of 17 percent. 

In terms of how drink-driving is policed, the number of roadside breath tests has more than halved over the same period, according to the research from Vantage Leasing.

In 2010, the UK’s police services conducted 737,000 roadside breath tests, of which 11 percent saw a positive alcohol reading.

Fast-forward to 2017, and there were just 326,000 roadside tests, of which 16 percent were positive.

The government has said that, if re-elected, it plans to increase police officer recruitment by 20,000 over the next three years.

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

Department for Transport figures show that in 2017, there were 250 deaths on the road, in drink-drive accidents. That too, is the highest since 2010.

As the Christmas period begins, a final sobering statistic bears repeating. This is the time of year that sees a  20 percent rise in drink-drive accidents. 

The drink-drive limit in England and Wales is 80 mg / 100 ml – the highest alcohol tolerance level in Europe. Countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia have a zero tolerance policy to drink-driving. Many other European countries operate at a 50 mg / 100 ml limit.

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

“Drink-driving remains a serious issue for UK road safety,” said Vantage leasing managing director, Rob Walker.

“Since 2010, we’ve seen a 17 percent drop in full-time police numbers. At the same time, drink drive fatalities and serious accidents have gone up.

“While having more officers won’t solve the problem of drink-driving entirely, they will undoubtedly help reduce the issue.”

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