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Police warning as drink-drive deaths and injuries on rise
THE number of people hurt or killed in crashes in Worcestershire involving drink-drivers has risen.
Figures from West Mercia’s Safer Road’s Partnership show that in 2011, one person was killed, 18 people were seriously injured and 79 people were slightly injured in collisions where alcohol was a contributory factor.
This is compared with three serious injuries and 76 slight injuries in 2010.
The news comes as provisional estimates from the Department of Transport reveal the number of fatal accidents nationally involving drink drivers rose by 18 per cent, from 220 in 2010 to 260 in 2011.
In the same period, the number of people killed in drink-drive accidents increased by 12 per cent from 250 to 280 and the total number of casualties involving drink -driving rose by three per cent from 9,700 to 9,990.
Anna Higgins, communications manager at the safer roads partnership in West Mercia, said: “The safer roads partnership works with West Mercia Police to carry out enforcement activity during key times of the year when we traditionally see a rise in drink-drive collisions. “For example, during our summer campaign it was encouraging to see there was a drop in the number of people providing a positive breath test and an increase in the number of tests carried out, which highlights the force's commitment to tackle drink driving.”
According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the national rise in drink-drive casualties follows a drop in 2010 when drink-drive deaths were at their lowest in 30 years. IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Any rise in drink drive casualties is worrying. With 15 per cent of all road fatalities involving a drink-driver there is clearly more to be done to reduce casualties.
“The problem is that many crashes occur the morning after – there needs to be more education on the effects of driving after drinking. A heavy night drinking could leave you over the limit the morning after. “The message to all drivers is don’t drink and drive.”