There might be more of a stigma around drink-driving nowadays, but around 15% of fatalities that occur on UK roads involve a driver under the influence of alcohol.
According to a government report, there were 1,792 reported road deaths in the UK in 2016. This means that more than 300 fatalities last year involved alcohol,
However, based on global data from Budget Direct, drivers in the UK are still more sensible about drink-driving than in most high-income countries. Alcohol is involved in more twice as many road traffic deaths in Uruguay (38%), Canada (34%) and the USA (31%).
Drink-driving is particularly pertinent around this time of the year, as alcohol consumption is expected to increase over the festive period.
Breathalyser tests in Scotland last year between Christmas and New Year caught one in 30 driving above the alcohol limit, compared with one in 36 people caught in 2015. Police in Scotland were so incensed by the numbers they called it an “absolute disgrace.”
Scotland reduced its drink driving limit from 0.08% blood alcohol concentration to 0.05% at the end of 2014, but the limit is still 0.08% in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The drink-driving limit in the UK is higher than most countries around the world, which ranges from a zero tolerance policy to 0.05%. Malta is the only other country in Europe where the limit is as high.