Provisional government statistics for 2019 have revealed that the central estimate of deaths from drink-driving on roads in Great Britain in 2019 was 280, an increase of 40 on the previous year and the highest central estimate since 2009.

But the Government says the rise from 240 in 2018 is not statistically significant.

The data also shows an estimated 7,860 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit in 2019. This figure represents a fall of nine percent from 8,680 in 2018, and the lowest recorded.

However, the central estimate of the number of killed or seriously injured (KSI adjusted) drink-drive casualties in 2019 is 2,110, an increase of 11 percent on 2018 figures, and the highest level since 2011.

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling for the Government to take urgent action on drink driving and has highlighted that England and Wales now has the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, at 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, compared with the norm of 50mg, as has been implemented in Scotland since December 2014.

“The reported increase in drink driving deaths is clearly cause for concern, with the estimated annual deaths now the highest for over a decade,” said Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake.

“Despite a supposedly proud road safety record, improvement on UK roads is stagnating and in need of a jump-start. The Government must urgently review and reduce the drink-drive limit in England and Wales, which now has the dubious honour of being the highest in Europe, to help stop the rot on drink driving.”

The report can be viewed here. Final 2019 estimates, based on more complete data, will be published in August 2021.