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Fall in drink drive deaths ‘needs to be viewed in context’

The number of people killed in drink-drive related deaths fell slightly during 2020, although that only tells part of the story.

New DfT statistics, published on 23 February, show that in Great Britain during 2020, between 190 and 250 people were killed in collisions where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 220 deaths.

The central estimate of 220 deaths is in fact the lowest since 2015 – and down 4% from 230 in 2019.

But of course, 2020 was a year heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a point that has been raised by the personal breathalyser firm, Alcosense.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of Alcosense, says: “This apparent fall in drink drive casualties needs to be viewed in the context of the Covid lockdown.”

More widely speaking, there was a 17% fall in the total number of road fatalities during 2020 (down from 1,752 in 2019 to 1,460).

This means that drink drive deaths – as a percentage of the total figure – actually rose to 15%, the highest percentage in over a decade.

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