Persistent drink-drivers ’not getting the message’ says IAM RoadSmart, as alcohol related crashes increase

Posted on 12/02/20 |

IAM RoadSmart is once again disappointed at yet another year of stagnation in the annual drink-drive statistics announced today (12 February) saying the ‘hardcore’ of persistent drink-drivers are still not getting the message.

The Department for Transport’s (DFT) provisional estimates for 2018 show that between 220 and 270 people were killed in crashes in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.

The DfT said: “The provisional estimate of fatalities for 2018 is similar to levels seen since 2010.”

An estimated 8,700 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, which is an increase of 1% from 8,600 in 2017.

Most worryingly, the total number of crashes where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 4% to 5,900 in 2018.

The country’s largest independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart is calling for the government to introduce a ‘smarter’ package of measures to tackle this important issue.

Measures being advocated by IAM RoadSmart include a further lowering of the drink-drive limit in England and Wales to match Scotland, wider use of drink-drive rehabilitation courses and also following the example of Scotland by seizing the vehicles of repeat offenders.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Once again progress on reducing the toll of death and injuries from drink-driving has stalled.

“There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures, but IAM RoadSmart believe we now need a much smarter  package of measures from the government including a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, fast-track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources and tailored approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems. 

“Rehabilitation courses work and we think all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically rather than having to opt in. More use of alcohol interlocks and extra penalties such as vehicle forfeiture, as used in Scotland, could all be part of a more joined-up approach to the problem.”

Neil concluded: “Drink-drivers are simply not getting the message, and these figures will not improve until policy changes.”

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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website                                    

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