The number of people killed in collisions involving a driver over the alcohol limit hasn't dropped significantly since 2010, new figures for 2018 from the Department of Transport have revealed.
Around 13% of UK road deaths in 2018 were classified as drink-drive related. The figure was first recorded in 1998 and hasn't changed a significant amount in the previous eight years.
A central estimate of drink-drive casualties of all severities in 2018 is put at 8700 – an increase of 1% on 2017 - including around 240 deaths. The total number of accidents in which at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 4% to 5900 in 2018.
While these figures confirm that UK roads are still the safest they've ever been in terms of accident casualties, Home Office figures reveal the number of roadside breath tests conducted by police in 2018 (just under 321,000) has more than halved since 2009 (just over 670,000).
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis claims the new figures demonstrate a "clear need for more roads policing offers and stronger measures to tackle reoffending". The number of dedicated road traffic police fell 30% between 2007 and 2017 to fewer than 2700 officers.
Dennis said: "For nearly a decade, there has been virtually no progress in reducing the number of fatalities involving a driver over the limit. A reduction in the drink-drive limit in England and Wales could be a better deterrent for some of these drivers."
However, the RAC understands that the Government is still considering the mandatory fitting of alcolocks - devices that require a breath sample before the car can be started - to the vehicles of repeat offenders.