The Department for Transport’s latest statistics show that there has been an estimated increase in the number of people killed in crashes where one driver was over the drink drive limit.
The DfT reached a final central estimate of 250, up from 230 in 2016, an increase of 9% and the highest level since 2009.
However the number of total crashes involving a drink driver is estimated to have fallen by 6% to 5,700, down from 6,070 in 2016.
The new figures come after road safety charity Brake revealed that more than 5,000 drivers have been caught drink driving on two or more occasions in the past four years. The figures from the DVLA, obtained via a freedom of information request, showed that in the past four years, there have been 5,181 repeat drink-drive offenders, including 4,879 who were caught twice, 275 drivers who were caught three times and one driver who was caught six times in the same period.
Drivers who are caught driving, or attempting to drive, while above the legal limit or unfit through drink face an unlimited fine, between three and 11 points on their licence, a driving ban of at least one year, and six months in prison.
Joshua Harris from Brake said: “Driving over the alcohol limit can have devastating consequences, and it is troubling to see such levels of repeat offending. What is worse is that many of these drivers shouldn’t have been on the roads to offend again, if the full extent of the law had been used.
“Technology also has a role to play in tacking the menace of drink driving. The use of alcohol interlocks must seriously be considered to prevent convicted drink-drive offenders from getting behind the wheel over the limit.”