Drink driving linked to nearly 100 crashes in Lincolnshire last year

Drink driving was linked to nearly 100 crashes resulting in death or injury in Lincolnshire last year, new figures reveal.

Road safety charity Brake called the persistence of dangerous behaviour on the roads “deeply concerning” as it renewed calls for a zero-tolerance stance on drink and drug driving nationally.

Department for Transport data shows drivers or riders impaired by alcohol contributed to 98 crashes in Lincolnshire last year.

The figures, which report contributory factors for incidents as recorded by police, also show 18 people affected by illicit or medicinal drugs.

Don't drink and drive. EMN-200810-095837001

Officers can record one or more causes for any vehicle incident where someone suffers even a slight injury. These do not have to involve cars and may include a cyclist falling over or a motorbike colliding with a pedestrian.

A driver or rider could be marked as being impaired by alcohol or drugs if police believe their behaviour directly caused or contributed to the accident, whether over the legal limit or not.

A total 1,519 incidents recorded in Lincolnshire had contributory factors in 2019 – alcohol was linked to six per cent of these, while impairment through drugs was reported in one per cent.

The Scottish Government reduced the alcohol limit for drivers from 80 milligrammes (mg) per 100 millilitres of blood to 50mg in December 2014, but the legal level in the rest of the UK remains 80mg.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said the presence of drink and drug driving on the roads is concerning but “all too predictable”.

“We know that any amount of alcohol impairs driving, and yet the Government persists with the highest drink-drive limit in Europe in England, Wales and Northern Ireland,” he said.

“We urge the Government to introduce an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit, providing much-needed clarity to all drivers that if you drink, you must not drive.”

Transport committee MPs announced this month that they are considering a no-alcohol limit for new drivers under the age of 25 in a bid to curb the number of casualties on the roads each year.

The most common contributory factor in Lincolnshire was drivers and riders being careless, reckless or in a hurry, listed in 29 per cent of incidents, followed by failing to look properly (20 per cent) and failing to judge the other person’s path or speed (12 per cent).

Different figures show 54 people were killed and 741 seriously injured on the area’s roads last year.

This was compared to 56 deaths and 697 serious injuries in 2018.

Total casualties, which include slight injuries, rose from 2,533 to 2,556 over the period.

Mr Harris said the “decimation” of roads policing over the past decade has left the UK unable to reduce its high levels of dangerous driving.

“We welcome the Government’s Roads Policing Review, which will help coordinate roads policy and enforcement and urge the Government to ensure that the police are provided the investment they need to enforce the rules of the road effectively,” he added.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere said statistics show road casualties are the lowest they’ve been for 40 years, and that the number of deaths has also reduced.

She added: “While this news is encouraging and while we have some of the safest roads in the world, this Government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our roads are made even safer still.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​