LOCAL road safety charity Brake is calling for a zero tolerance approach to drink driving, after Government figures revealed a rise in the number of fatal car crashes involving drink.

The latest figures revealed in 2017 there were 290 deaths in crashes where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, up from 230 in 2016.

However, the total number of crashes involving a drink driver has dropped by six per cent, from 6,070 to 5,370.

The UK also now has the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, at 0.8mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, after Malta lowered its limit last year.

Josh Harris, director of campaigns at Brake said: “While it’s encouraging the total number of crashes involving a drink driver appears to have fallen, it is worrying the estimated number of people killed continues to increase.

"With England and Wales now having the dubious honour of the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, we have to ask how many more lives must be lost for the Government to act on drink driving?

“Our current drink-drive limit gives a false impression it is acceptable to mix alcohol and driving - which couldn’t be further from the truth. Even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect your ability to drive safely.

"Decisive action is needed to end this blight on our roads and prevent the needless loss of life. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”