Department for Transport statistics suggest that the number of people killed in drink-driving incidents on Britain’s roads is on the rise.
The latest figures show that around 240 motorists were killed in incidents involving motorists over the legal alcohol limit in 2016 – up from 200 in 2015.
This equates to a 20 per cent rise in casualties – the most significant increase in drink-driving related deaths since 2000.
Even with the rise, however, drink driving-related deaths remain at less than half the level seen a decade ago.
The DfT’s announcement said the provisional rise in drink-drive related deaths was ‘statistically significant’, though said the overall number was in-line with figures reported between 2010 and 2014.
A greater estimated 9,050 people were killed or injured during 2016 in shunts involving drivers over the limit, up from 8,470 the year previous – a rise of seven per cent.
That is almost 40 per cent lower than the number seen a decade earlier, however.
With just under 1,800 people losing their lives on British roads in 2016, about one in seven road casualties involve drink drivers each year.
The DfT says that the current figure of 240 casualties was only an estimation. However, it says is “95 per cent certain” that the true number is between 200 and 280 casualties.
"At best, progress in reducing fatal crashes as a result of people drinking and driving continues to stall, and at worse there has been an increase for the first time since 2009 – which would be the biggest year-on-year rise in such crashes since 2000," said RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams.
"We are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge when it comes to ending the menace of drink-drivers on the UK's roads – not least in addressing the problem of persistent offenders."