Fears over sharp rise in drink and drive death rates

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MOTORING groups have called for more to be done to stop drunk drivers getting behind the wheel after new figures showed the number of alcohol-related road deaths rose by a quarter last year.

An estimated 290 people were killed in drink-drive accidents in Britain in 2012, 25 per cent more than the figure of 230 in 2011, according to provisional figures by the Department for Transport (DfT).

In West Yorkshire, where seven people died as a result of drink-driving last year, police recently launched a campaign to stop drivers getting behind the wheel while over the limit.

The case of a Leeds couple killed by a drunk driver who smashed into their car at 100mph was featured in a hard-hitting campaign, which included an interview with the victims’ daughter. Failed asylum seeker Eduard Mereohra was still drunk from a party the previous night when he ploughed into a car carrying grandparents David and Dorothy Metcalf, from Tinshill, on the Stanningley Bypass on the morning of January 1 last year.

Mr Metcalf, 68, who was driving the couple’s car, was thrown from the vehicle and died instantly. His 65-year-old wife was found hanging out of a rear window and died later.

Despite this year’s provisional total for alcohol-related road deaths being higher than the previous two years, the number of such fatalities has been falling sharply in recent years.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: “These statistics make for rather depressing reading. Despite the longer-term reduction in the number of people killed by drink driving-related incidents, the sharp rise in 2012 when compared to the previous year is a cause for concern.

“Clearly more needs to be done to ensure that the anti-drink-driving message pioneered by the Government’s THINK! campaign really sticks with motorists.”

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