Road safety charity IAM Roadsmart has called for emergency measures to be introduced to tackle drink-driving.
The call comes after provisional figures released this week by the Department for Transport showed that between 240 and 330 people were killed in collisions where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
This represents about 16% of all deaths in reported road accidents in 2017 and the provisional estimate of fatalities is the highest since 2009.
An estimated 8,660 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
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 with a worrying increase in 2017.
“There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures but IAM RoadSmart believe we now need an emergency 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 innovative 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 more joined-up approach to the problem.”