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Drink-driving death rate falls

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Fewer people are dying on Britain’s roads as a result of drink-driving, the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed.

The number of people killed in collisions involving drivers over the legal limit fell by 18% between 2006 and 2007, from 560 to 460, according to new DfT figures.

Serious injuries also fell over the period, from 1,970 to 1,760.

However, there were actually 220 more drink-driving accidents in 2007, compared to the previous year, and total casualties increased by 1%.

Safety organisations welcomed the reduction in deaths but said the public was still confused over what the drink-drive limit actually means.

The UK limit is currently 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milli-litres of blood.

However, blood alcohol concentration differs between individuals according to factors including weight, age and the type of drink consumed.

Cathy Keeler, head of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said the figures were “good news” but called for the drink-drive limit to be reduced, preferably to zero.

“The limit is currently crazily high,” she said. “No alcohol is the only possible safe amount when driving.”

Roger Singer, managing director of Avoidd, echoed Ms Keeler’s comments.

“The figures are really encouraging and help to reinforce all the work that safety organisations have done to heighten awareness of drink-driving. But the only way to drive is alcohol-free,” he said.

A recent survey conducted by Brake and recovery service Green Flag found that incidents of drink-driving among women are on the rise.

Four out of ten female motorists (42%) admitted to getting behind the wheel after a drink, compared to 59% of male drivers.
 

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