Drink-driving accidents at record low

The number of drink-drive accidents on Britain's roads has dropped to the lowest level since records began.

There were 5,690 drink-driving related accidents in 2013, a drop of almost 1,000 from 6,630 the year before, Department for Transport (DfT) figures show.

Despite the drop, the number of people killed in crashes linked to alcohol consumption remained at 240, unchanged for the fourth year. In the past decade the number of deaths has dropped significantly from 580 in 2004 to 240 from 2010 onwards.

The number of young drivers killed or seriously injured in drink-driving crashes has halved since 2009, from 300 to 150, but RAC chief engineer David Bizley said too many younger drivers are still being killed because of drink-driving.

Mr Bizley said: "While it is encouraging that the numbers of people killed or seriously injured as a result of accidents involving young drink-drivers has fallen since 2002, the sad and all-too-familiar fact is that younger drivers still account for a disproportionate number of all drink-drive casualties.

"Education, new technologies such as telematics and graduated licensing potentially all have roles to play. Government, and indeed all of those who share an interest in reducing casualties on our roads, need to use all means at their disposal to address the problem now."

A DfT spokesman said: "Tackling drink-driving is a priority for this Government and we have strengthened enforcement by removing the automatic right for drivers who fail a breathalyser test to demand a blood or urine test. This has denied people the chance to sober up while waiting for the test to be taken.

"High-risk offenders are now also required to prove they are no longer alcohol-dependent before being allowed to drive.

"The Government will be looking at the best ways to improve road safety during this Parliament and beyond."