Death by Dangerous Driving Fuelled by Alcohol
As reported in The Times today, causing death by dangerous or careless driving due to the influence of alcohol has reached a 12-year high in the UK, with an estimated 260 fatalities in 2021 involving alcohol-impaired drivers, up from 220 the previous year.
It is said that this marked the highest toll since 2009. The rise is attributed to people visiting friends’ houses by driving under the influence. Men accounted for the vast majority of deaths (220) compared to 20 women.
Further, a staggering 1,610 people suffered severe injuries in drink-drive accidents in 2021, representing a 4% increase from the previous year.
Experts call for stronger enforcement, including increased roadside breathalyser tests. Campaigns to combat drink-driving causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving attitudes and behaviours continue, though drivers aged 24-29 are the most vulnerable group. The legal alcohol limit for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is 80mg/100ml, with Scotland reducing it to 50mg/100ml in 2014. London and the southeast saw 28% of all drink-drive casualties, while Scotland reported only 3%. Hunter Abbott, from AlcoSense, expressed concern over the nearly 20% increase in fatalities caused by drunk drivers. Effective measures are needed to address the ongoing battle against drink-driving, as it continues jeopardising lives and road safety in the UK.
The AA’s president, Edmund King, highlighted the tragic toll of 260 needless deaths amid reduced travel due to Covid lockdowns and tens of thousands dying from the virus. He emphasized the need for responsible driving to prevent further tragedies. Simon Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesman, expressed extreme concern over the figures, calling them a wake-up call for the government and police to implement effective enforcement, including more breathalyzer tests. The Department for Transport reiterated that drink-driving is illegal and imposes tough penalties due to the risks posed to lives.
Drivers aged 24-29 were most at risk, while those over 60 were less likely to be involved in drink-drive accidents. The DfT plans to launch a new campaign later in the year to continue tackling drink-driving attitudes.
In conclusion, despite the closure of pubs during the Covid pandemic, the UK experienced a significant increase in drink-driving deaths, signalling a pressing need for stronger enforcement and awareness campaigns to combat this perilous behaviour. The tragic toll on lives underscores the importance of responsible driving and measures to curb alcohol-impaired road accidents.
Posted: July 28, 2023 at 3:41 pm