Drink Driving Accidents and Casualties

 

Estimated number of reported drink driving accidents and casualties, by month (Great Britain, 2005/09 average, 2011 and 2012).

 

These Department for Transport statistics summarise the estimated number of reported drink driving accidents and casualties for three time periods: 2005/09 (average), 2011 and 2012, with a monthly breakdown from January to December and a yearly total for each period.

 

What is initially interesting about these figures is that after the initial 2005/09 total figures for accidents (9,080) and casualties (13,760), there is a noticeable decrease in 2011 for both accidents (6,690) and casualties (9,930), followed by very little/no change in 2012, with a decrease of just 60 for accidents (to 6,630) and no change for casualties (remaining constant at 9,930).

 

If there is a relationship between the number of drink drive accidents/casualties and the time of year, then this is not reflected in these official statistics. For example, the highest number of accidents (830) and casualties (1,260) were reported in May of the 2005/09 average period.

 

However, the figures for 2011 indicate that the highest numbers of accidents (600) occurred in three months: July, October and December, with the highest number of casualties (920) being reported in July.

 

In 2012, the highest number of reported accidents had fallen (to 590), with the highest number of casualties dropping also (to 900, for the months of March and October).

 

When considering the lowest figures, there would appear to be more consistency in the data. A pattern can be identified in that February was the month in which the lowest numbers of accidents and casualties were reported for almost every time period. The figures for accidents fell, and then rose slightly, as follows: 690 (2005/09 average), 480 (2011) and 500 (2012).

 

The figures for casualties for the month of February also fell, and then rose slightly, as follows: 1010 (2005/09 average), 680 (2011) and 760 (2012).

 

Why the figures for accidents and casualties should be lower for the month of February, in these statistics ranging from 2005 to 2012, is impossible to explain. No qualitative data is presented with this table. It would be interesting, however, to capture and analyse further data across wider time periods (ie pre-2005 and post-2012) to see if the patterns remains constant.    

 

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, call our expert team now for honest advice on 01623 600645.

 

 

Reported Road Accidents Involving Drink Drivers

 

 

Estimated number of reported road accidents involving a car drink driver, by driver age, accidents by licence holder and per mile driven (Great Britain, 2005-2009 average and 2012).

 

In these Department for Transport statistics, the focus is solely on reported road accidents involving car drivers who were over the drink-driving legal limit. Two time periods are used for comparison: the average from the years 2005-2009 and the figures from 2012. These figures are presented in nine age categories, starting with those under 17 years of age and ending with those aged 60 years or over.

 

The total for all age categories for the 2005-2009 period was 8,170 car drink drivers, whereas this number had fallen to 5,920 in 2012.

 

The highest number of car drink drivers for both the 2005-2009 period and 2012 was the 20-24 years age group whilst – understandably – the lowest for both periods was the under 17 years age group.

 

Interestingly, the second highest number of car drink drivers for both periods was the 25-29 years age group, which means that the highest concentration of car drink drivers is in those aged 20-29 years.

 

Whilst the trend was for the numbers of car drink drivers to reduce between the first and second time period, in just one case this did not happen. For those in the 60 or over age group, the number actually increased from 300 to 310.

 

The number of reported road accidents involving a car drink driver, per licence holder, fell from 22 in the 2005-2009 period to 15 in 2012. The decrease was constant across all age groups.

 

Similarly, the number of reported road accidents involving a car drink driver, per mile driven, fell from 33 in the 2005-2009 period to 24 in 2012. Again, the decrease was constant across all age groups.

 

So, in summary, the trend illustrated by these official statistics was a falling number of reported road accidents involving a car drink driver – however these figures are presented (ie by driver age, accidents per licence holder or per mile driven). That the only increase is in those car drink drivers aged 60 or over may be worthy of further investigation, but it is interesting to speculate why this should be the case.

 

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, get the experts on your side by calling our team of drink drive solicitors on 01623 600645.

 

 

 

Death by Drink Driving: Fatality Blood Alcohol Levels

Blood alcohol levels of reported fatalities aged 16 and over (Great Britain, 2012)

 

In these Department for Transport statistics, total fatalities include car and other vehicle drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists and also passengers and pedestrians.

 

Interestingly, the highest number of reported fatalities where blood alcohol level was above the legal limit was for pedestrians – 137 out of a sample size of 158 people. This figure was much greater than the second highest category, which numbered 77 car drivers out of a sample size of 329 people.

 

The figures for the reported fatalities who tested below the legal limit were higher for motorcycle riders, other vehicle drivers/riders and passengers, although in each case the difference between those under and over the limit is not great (not more than 9 people – passenger category).

 

However, for the reported fatalities who tested above the legal limit, car drivers, pedestrians and cyclists showed the strongest tendency towards the higher figures, with the differences between those under and over the limit being much higher (up to 47 people – pedestrian category).

 

The data in these statistics is also presented in the forms of percentages of reported fatalities (over the limit) by time of accident (22:00 – 3:59 and 04:00 – 21:59). This breakdown shows that the highest figures were, in every case, for those fatalities which occurred between the hours of 22:00 and 03:39. Fatalities were therefore less likely to have occurred between the hours of 04:00 and 21:59.

 

As with all statistics, caution needs to be taken when interpreting figures, especially those for small sample sizes. A note at the foot of this table indicates that the groups for ‘other’ and ‘cyclists’- together with possible bias – means that these results are less robust than for other groups.    

 

If you have been charged with drink driving or have caused death by drink driving, get the experts on your side now by calling our expert team of drink drive solicitors on 01623 600645.

 

Young Drink Drivers Over The Limit Killed

 

Young drivers and riders (17-24 years old) over the legal alcohol limit killed or seriously injured in reported accidents (Department for Transport, GB, 2001-2012)

 

During the 12 years during which these statistics were collated by the Department for Transport, the trend has been a decreasing number of young drink drivers and riders over the legal alcohol limit who were killed or seriously injured in reported accidents.

 

For example, the number of young drivers/riders who were killed or seriously injured fell from 390 in 2001 to 200 in 2012.

 

The number of casualties who were passengers of young drivers over the limit also dropped – from 410 in 2001 to 130 in 2012.

 

For other casualties, there were 190 in 2001, a number which fell to 60 in 2012.

 

Although not all figures for each category dropped consistently over the 12 year period, this did happen for the number of other casualties, which reduced year on year.

 

The number of casualties who were passengers of young drivers over the limit initially rose over two years, from 410 in 2001 to 460 in 2003, then reduced in a fairly consistent way until 2012, when the figure was 60 – the lowest figure of all those presented in this table.

 

That the figures for all casualty types has decreased significantly over the 12 year period is very good news. For two out of three of the categories (casualties who were passengers and other casualties), this decrease is just over 68%.

 

So, although we may see the road as an increasingly dangerous place for young drivers and riders (and their passengers), these particular statistics would suggest that in fact the reverse is true – it is actually becoming safer and safer as time goes by.

 

If you or a loved one is facing a drink driving charge, get the experts on your side now by calling us on 01623 600645.  We are specialist drink drive solicitors who can prepare your case and represent you at court for a fixed fee.

 

 

Drink Driving: Killed Drivers By Blood Alcohol Levels

Killed drivers/riders resulting from reported accidents, by blood alcohol content category and age (Department for Transport, GB, 2012)

 

These statistics indicate that of those drivers/riders who were killed as a result of reported accidents, 18% were over the legal blood alcohol limit, and, of these, 11% were over twice over the legal limit.

 

In 8% of those people killed, alcohol was present but not over the legal limit (ie 10-80mg).

 

The good news is that these statistics report the fact that in 74% of those killed, no alcohol (ie 0-9mg) was present.

 

The figures for deaths by reported accidents in Great Britain in 2012 total 568, which is made up of 479 male and 89 female victims.

 

The age range in which there were the highest number of deaths is in the 60+ group, which numbered a total of 100 people. The lowest incidence of deaths was in the 35-39 age group, which numbered 45 people.

 

The highest figures for those who were twice over the legal limit (161mg+) were in the adjoining 25-29 and 30-34 age groups (13 and 14 people respectively).

 

These higher figures are mirrored in the category of deaths where drivers/riders were over the legal limit (81mg+) – 21 and 19 people respectively.

 

The highest figures for alcohol being present, but not over the legal limit (10-80mg) are for the 50-59 age group, which numbers 10 people.

 

Of all the categories, the highest figures of all appear within the ‘no alcohol present’ (0-9mg) data, which numbers 421 deaths in total. Of these, 345 are male and 76 are female.

 

In summary, those killed as a result of road accidents are, according to the Department for Transport statistics, over 5 times more likely to be male. In addition, they are more likely to be over 60+ years of age, and to have had no alcohol present (0-9mg) in their blood when killed.

 

If you have been charged with drink driving, get the experts on your side now by calling Forrest Williams on 01623 600645.

 

 

 

Drink Driving Death Statistics: 1979-2012

Drivers and riders killed – percentage over the legal blood alcohol limit (Department for Transport, Great Britain, 1979-2012).

 

Statistics released by the Department for Transport are presented by age, type of vehicle driven/ridden and the year for which data is made available.

 

From these most emotive of statistics, it is somewhat heartening to report that the total number of fatalities who tested over the legal blood alcohol limit has fallen from 32% (in 1979) to 18% (in 2012).

 

The sharpest drop is that of motorcycle riders, which saw a fall from 31% to 6% over the 33 year period in question.

 

The reduction for the deaths of car and other motor vehicle drivers was less pronounced, falling from 32% to 24%.

 

Whether the person killed was driving a car/other vehicle, or riding a motorcycle, the highest concentration of deaths is to be found in the 20-29 years and 30-39 years age groups.

 

Interestingly, the figures for deaths in the 16-19 years age group, for drivers of cars/other vehicles, is almost always higher (on just one occasion equal to, and never less than) the figures for deaths in the 40+ years age group.

 

As these official statistics focus on the percentage of motorists killed who were over the legal blood alcohol limit, the figures have to be reversed in order to identify how many were under the legal limit.

 

For example, the most recent data, for 2012, indicates that 94% of motorcycle riders and 82% of car/other vehicle drivers would have been under the legal limit at the time of their deaths.

 

These up-to-date figures are much more positive than the figures for 1979, which indicate that 69% of motorcycle riders and 68% of car/other vehicle drivers would have been under the legal limit when they were killed.

 

If you are being charged with drink driving or any other motoring offence, it is vital that you seek expert legal advice immediately.  Our specialist team are here to help.  Get the experts on your side on 01623 600645.

 

 

Drink Drive Casualties – Statistics For 2013

Estimated number of drink drive casualties by casualty type, Great Britain, 2013

 

The Department for Transport statistics relating to drink drive casualties are broken down by age, gender, pedestrian/type of vehicle ridden or driven and whether casualty was killed/seriously injured or suffered less serious injuries.

 

From a total of all casualties (9,930), most of these (5,630) were in the 25-59 years category, whereas the lowest number (390) were in the 0-15 years category. However, the number of older casualties (60+ years) was also quite low, at 590. There were 3,230 casualties in the 16-24 years category, which is closest to the number of casualties aged 25-59 years. However, when comparing these figures it should be noted that the groupings are not of equal age bands, with the 25-59 years category spanning 34 years, which is much greater than for any other category.

 

Of those people who were killed or seriously injured, 1,070 were male and 360 were female. Most of these (360) were car drivers who were found to be over the legal limit (590), with the second highest figure being for car passengers (360). Those drivers found to be under the legal limit (120) come next, with the remaining figures being for pedestrians (80), other (60) and motorcyclists (30).

 

The good news is that there were no cyclists killed or seriously injured through drink driving in Great Britain in 2013, according to these statistics.

 

Another positive way to interpret these statistics is that out of the total of 9,930 casualties reported, only 1,430 people were killed or seriously injured.

 

That this number could – and should – be lower is self-evident and something that we should all be working towards. 

 

Forrest Williams are specialist drink driving solicitors.  Our dedicated team are on your side.  If you are charged with a drink driving offence, contact us now for expert legal advice on 01623 600645.

Alcohol Breath Tests Statistics By Age

Reported breath tests and breath test failures by road user type and age, Great Britain, 2013

 

As with other Department for Transport statistics, these are presented in summary form (ie for all motor vehicle drivers and riders, by age group) and also further broken down by type of vehicle driven/ridden.

 

To begin with the summary of these statistics, it is interesting to note that, in Great Britain in 2013, of all motor vehicle drivers and riders, only 1.6% of those involved in accidents failed breath tests, although 53% of those involved in accidents were tested.

 

This highlights the fact that the probability of a person being involved in a road traffic accident and failing a breath test were statistically very low.

 

The range between those tested, by age group, is not huge – from 48% (under 17 years) to 64% (17-19 years), which suggests the police were testing people in a fairly consistent way. Also, both ends of this range are within the lower age group, which would support such an interpretation of the figures.

 

There is, however, much greater disparity when considering the figures for those drivers and riders who failed the breath tests. The lowest figures were 7 people (under 17 years) and 42 people (70 years and over), which indicates that the youngest and oldest motorists were less likely to fail breath tests. At the other end of the spectrum, 785 people in the 20-24 age group failed the test, which is the highest figure for any age range.

 

It is interesting to note that the figures reduce gradually by age range from this higher reading for the 20-24 age range, down to 327 people for the 35-39 age band, then jumps back up to 611 fail results for the 40-49 year olds. The figures then drop, as before, to the lowest point which is for those 70 years of age and above.

 

Why there should be a peak in the figures (ie higher fail rate for those motorists in their 40s) is something we can only speculate on, as the statistics do not give this sort of qualitative information.

 

To briefly compare the fail rates of different types of motorists with regard to these official statistics, the most frequent offenders, by age group, are as follows:-

 

Car drivers = 20-24 year olds (701 people out of a possible 3,296)

Motorcycle riders = 20-24 year olds (55 out of a possible 234)

All motor vehicle drivers and riders = 20–24 year olds (785 out of a possible 3,727)

 

Clearly a conclusion can be drawn regarding the probability of a driver in their early 20s failing a breath test, following a road traffic accident, in Great Britain in 2013.

 

However, to focus on these failures would be only half the story, and misleading at that. Most of the people tested did not fail. A truth which is nowhere near as newsworthy as the highlighting of certain groups of motorists and drawing negative conclusions about them as if they were a homogeneous, and law-averse unit.

 

If you are being charged with a drink driving offence such as failure to provide a specimen, contact our expert team now for honest legal advice on 01623 600645.

 

Case Study: Drink Driving Client in Chesterfield

In Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court today, Claire Rostron was sentenced to an 18 month disqualification for her drink driving offence.  She left the court with her husband, glad that she could finally put the day of the hearing behind her and move on with her life.

 

Claire told Forrest Williams during her first telephone call that she had no defence to the charge and that she wanted to plead guilty. Two things were clear to Claire’s case handler from the very beginning: that she was full of remorse about what had happened and that she did not want to make any excuses for her behaviour.

 

On the date in question, Claire had agreed to have a couple of drinks with her colleagues immediately after work. This, she told us, was difficult to explain as it was something she would never usually do. There was, in fact, no celebration or specific reason for having the drinks – it was, she said, ‘just one of those snap decisions’.

 

Unfortunately, although this was very unusual for Claire, it is something Forrest Williams hears frequently.  It is, in our experience, these non-typical decisions that can result in a clouding of judgement later on, and a decision that we can drive ourselves home. People often tell us that they ‘felt okay’, so assumed they would be under the legal drink-drive limit.

 

In Claire’s case, she hit a couple of traffic cones while making her journey home, on a road where there were temporary road works. An off-duty police officer was in the car behind her and this officer called the police, who then arrived at the scene.

 

Claire told us she was deeply ashamed of her actions and just wanted to get the court hearing over with as quickly as possible. She accepted she would be disqualified but said she deserved this and would have to find a way to travel to work using public transport for the duration of the disqualification period.

 

Claire’s barrister spoke for her in court and highlighted the fact that, in the 30 years she has held her driving licence, she has never had any points or been disqualified for any reason. This incident was clearly out of character – ‘a moment of madness’, in Claire’s words.

 

The court took account of Claire’s breath-alcohol reading (74mg) and mitigation when sentencing.  She was offered a place on the drink drive rehabilitation course, the completion of which will reduce her disqualification period by 25%.

 

Claire was understandably relieved that the hearing had, in some ways, brought an end to the pressure she had been under since the date of her arrest. She was pleased with the outcome, having been made aware that her disqualification period could have been much longer, and said she was keen to complete the drink drive rehabilitation course, as she felt she could only learn from this experience.

 

Interestingly, Claire told us after the hearing that she had been taking notice of what happened to the people who were not represented in court, and realised she had made the right decision in approaching Forrest Williams.

 

Once again, Forrest Williams can honestly report that people get better outcomes when professionally represented, plus they feel they are treated as individuals within a system that can all too easily make defendants feel like nothing more than another number.

 

If you are charged with a drink driving offence, call our expert team now for honest legal advice on 01623 600645.

 

9 Month Ban For Drink Driving Client

Drink Driving Representation – The Support You Need

 

Forrest Williams were very proud to recently represent a man charged with drink driving.

 

Mr Able was a retired professional who had never had any dealings with the legal system, and was mortified to be stopped by police after driving a short distance. He gave a breath sample of 45, meaning he fell to be disqualified for 12-16 months.

 

Mr Able was an absolute gentleman throughout the preparation of his case, thanking our team profusely for everything done on his case and even worrying that his appearance in court may bring his former profession into disrepute.

 

Mr Able was incredibly anxious about having to appear in court, and having a skilled barrister attend with him to guide him through that process, and to speak on his behalf, was a very worthwhile investment for him to make.

 

It was an absolute pleasure to assist Mr Able, who knew he would be disqualified but wanted to be supported through the process.

 

We were able to build a mitigation case for Mr Able, and he was represented in court by one of our expert barristers.

 

He was delighted to be given the minimum ban possible, of 12 months, with the drink driving rehabilitation course offered to reduce the ban to just 9 months, meaning Mr Able will be back on the road before Christmas.

 

At the end of his case, a very relieved and appreciative Mr Able told us:

 

Thank you all for your help. You have relaxed me and helped me and even turned this into an uplifting experience – I felt like an outcast until I spoke to you; you stopped me feeling that way about myself.

 

If you are facing a drink driving charge and would like experts on your side who see you as the person you are, not just a number, call us now on 01623 600645.