Brake confirms drink-drive fatality numbers and sets out measures to improve road safety.
UK drink-drive casualty figures 2014
The Government must take “urgent action” to reduce the number of people killed via drink-driving as numbers have “stagnated” in recent years, Brake argued. The safety charity – having studied Department for Transport figures – confirmed that 240 people died in 2014 which is similar to 2011 to 2013, and an estimate for 2015.
Brake argued the stagnation follows the removal of road casualty reduction targets, in 2010. It is, therefore, encouraging the Government to “consider the devastation” that even a single death causes to the family/friends of the victim and the wider community.
The Government should, therefore, have a “zero-tolerance policy to drink driving”, the safety charity said. Specifically, it called for the legal limit to be reduced to 20mg of alcohol per 100ml blood throughout the United Kingdom. It is currently 80mg in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland – falling to 50mg in Scotland.
Lucy Amos, Brake Research Advisor, said: “Through our work with bereaved families, we see the countless lives devastated when someone is killed by a drink-driver. It is for this reason that Brake is calling for a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit, the reintroduction of casualty reduction targets and greater prioritisation and resources for traffic policing to tackle the problem.”
Gender and age traits
Men are more likely than women to drink-drive, the road safety charity explained. During 2014, 70% of related fatalities were male. ”This figure is a cause for serious concern, so Brake is calling on the Government to do something to increase awareness and compliance amongst male drivers in particular”, the charity argued.
Motorists in the 25 to 39 year age bracket accounted for the highest percentage of drink-drive related fatalities throughout 2014, at 25%. That is a contrast to the previous year when the most prolific group was 17 to 25. Younger motorists, in fact, accounted for only 21% of fatalities throughout 2014 compared to 25% in 2013.
The number of people injured via drink-driving – rather than killed – fell for a third consecutive year in 2014 (-3%). Brake said it “cautiously welcomes this news” but “urges the Government to focus its attention on reducing drink-drive deaths, as well as injuries”.
Legal consequences of drink-driving
The Government confirmed the potential, legal, consequences of breaking the law. Penalties for driving or attempting to drive include: 6 months imprisonment, unlimited fine, plus a minimum 1 year ban. The ban rises to 3 years if convicted twice in 10 years.
Motorists that cause death by careless driving while under the influence might face: 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a ban of at least 2 years and an extended test to regain the licence.