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Portman stresses "decade of progress" as drink-driving casualties hit three-year high

Published:  04 August, 2017

The Portman Group has responded to the latest statistics which show that casualties involving drink driving have reached their highest point in three years.

A spokesperson for the responsible drinking group said the statistics were “concerning and unwelcome” but also had to be taken in context of falling alcohol consumption and the work of the industry to change harmful drinking behaviours.

The figures, released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 1,370 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving a driver under the influence in 2015, up from 1,310 on the previous year.

This 4% increase is "statistically significant" and represents the largest total since 2012, the DfT said.

Collisions involving a driver over the alcohol limit rose by 2% year-on-year to 5,730.

Fatalities are believed to have fallen slightly however, from 240 to 200,

These figures come in opposition to statistics which show that overall consumption among Brits has fallen with around half now teetotal (ONS).

Commentators have yet to agree whether or not this rise in causalities is down to a few persistent drink-drivers who or whether drink-driving is becoming more acceptable to a broader group.

A spokesperson for Portman Group said: “Drink driving is simply unacceptable and any deaths or serious injuries that occur as a result of it are tragic and deplorable. Today’s data showing a slight uplift in the number of people killed or seriously injured from drink driving is concerning and unwelcome.

"However, it is important that we place these numbers in context – this is the first increase in deaths or serious injuries since 2011 and follows more than a decade of progress in changing attitudes and behaviour around alcohol and driving. The industry has demonstrated its commitment to tackle this issue, is not complacent about the progress that has been made and will continue to support anti-drink drive and designated driver campaigns.”

Figures for 2016 will be released by the DfT in 2018.