Sharp fall in drink-drive deaths

Government figures have shown that the number of deaths from drink-drive accidents in Britain fell sharply last year, dipping 18% on the previous year.

The Department for Transport revealed that there were 460 fatalities in 2007 compared with 560 in 2006. The latest figure is the lowest in eight years and compares with figures as high as 580 in 2003 and 2004.

The number of those seriously injured in drink-drive crashes fell 11% to 1,760, but slight injuries rose 4% to 12,260. There was a 1% increase in the number of total casualties, to 14,480, and the number of accidents involving fatalities - as opposed to total deaths - fell 16% to 410.

Overall, there was a 2% rise in the number of drink-drive accidents, with the figure rising from 9,400 in 2006 to 9,620 in 2007.

"Drink-driving ruins lives," said transport minister Rosie Winterton. "That is why it is such good news that the number of people killed or seriously hurt in this way fell to an all-time low last year.

"But any death or injury caused by a drink driver is one too many, and we will continue our efforts to tackle this serious issue."

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