Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels for 2013 (final) and 2014 (provisional) were made available in August from the UK Department for Transport.
Final estimates for 2013 show that between 220 and 260 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink drive limit, with a central estimate of 240 deaths. However, accidents have fallen by 68%. However, this total is subject to considerable uncertainty and so should be regarded as having remained unchanged since 2010.
Around 14% of all deaths in reported road traffic accidents in 2013 involved at least one driver over the drink drive limit. The number of seriously injured casualties in drink drive accidents decreased by 8% from 1,200 in 2012 to 1,100 in 2013. The total number of casualties of all severities in drink drive accidents for 2013 was 8,270, down 17% on the 2012 figure and the lowest total on record.
The first provisional estimates for 2014 suggest there were between 240 and 340 deaths in drink drive accidents.
In 2013, 933 drivers or riders were killed in reported road accidents. It is estimated that 17% were over the legal blood alcohol limit. This proportion has fallen since the early 1980s when roughly a third of drivers and riders killed were over the limit. The proportion of killed drivers and riders over the limit is highest amongst 25 to 39 year olds. In 2013, around 31% of those killed from this age group were found to be over the limit, compared with less than 15% for older age groups.
Drink drive accidents in which a young driver (aged 17 to 24) was over the drink drive limit accounted for 60 deaths and 290 seriously injured casualties during 2013, compared with 60 deaths and 320 seriously injured casualties in 2012. In common with other drink drive accidents, the majority (84%) of those killed or seriously injured were the young drink drivers and their passengers. Since 2002, killed or seriously injured casualties from young drink drive accidents have fallen by 68%. However, young drink drive accidents still account for a disproportionate number of drink drive casualties – around a quarter of both drink drive fatalities and seriously injured drink drive casualties arise from accidents in which a young driver was over the drink drive limit.