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Portman Group welcomes steep decline in drink-drive deaths

Published:  18 October, 2019

The number of deaths from drink-driving has fallen around the world, according to the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Fatalities fell between 2006 and 2016 in 34 out of the 36 countries in which data is available, a new report from the organisation shows.

In the UK, the number of deaths declined by 64% over the decade. Germany showed similar success with fatalities down 62%.

Across Europe, losses fell in 24 out of the 26 countries where statistics can be collated. The two countries where reported fatalities are on the rise are Serbia and Czechia, formerly known as the Czech Republic.

Elsewhere in the world, deaths related to drink driving were down by 77% in Japan, 26% in Australia, 17% in the US, and 7% in New Zealand.

Welcoming the report, John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: “Such progress is testament to the combined efforts of industry, government, campaigners and the police to embed a societal-wide change in attitudes towards drink driving.

“Of course, there is more to do. We are not complacent and I know the industry will continue to support a range of anti-drink driving and designated driver campaigns.”

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the IARD, said: “It is critical that we continue to build on these downward trends and ensure everyone recognises the harms linked to drink driving.

“Government regulation and enforcement are the cornerstones for further reducing drink driving. These, alongside effective partnerships between industry, the public sector, and civil society, are crucial to promoting awareness of the risks and reinforcing the message that drink driving is socially unacceptable.”

Despite the success of anti-drink-drive measures, a recent YouGov survey revealed that 44% of 12,000 respondents believed that drink driving has worsened in the last ten years.