Deaths caused by drink driving increased by 12% from 2010 to 2011, reveal government statistics. This is the first rise in drink drive deaths in a decade.

280 people were killed in 2011 by drink drivers, 30 more than in 2010. Serious and slight injuries caused by drink drivers also rose by 3% respectively in 2011.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says: “Drink drive deaths and serious injuries cause terrible suffering and anguish, and they are entirely preventable, so it’s appalling they increased last year. We want to see a zero tolerance approach to this deadly menace, from the public and the government. We appeal to drivers to commit to never driving after drinking any amount – even one small drink – and everyone to stand up to drink driving.

“We are calling on the government to take decisive action on this major killer, including a zero tolerance drink drive limit, to send out a clear message that it’s none for the road, and greater priority given to traffic policing, so we have more police carrying out life-saving enforcement.”

Anyone who has been bereaved or seriously injured in a crash can call the Brake helpline for support on 0845 603 8570.


Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.