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Eastern region features in top five for highest amount of drink-drive related casualties

PUBLISHED: 05:30 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 06:05 12 August 2018

A drink driving student training program. Picture: Ian Burt

A drink driving student training program. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The East of England is in one of the top five regions in the UK which has had the highest amount of drink-driving related casualties in recent years, new reports have shown.

The Department for Transport has released their final estimations on accidents involving illegal alcohol levels in 2016.

The East of England was the fifth worst in the UK, with 5.6pc of casualties occurring due to drink driving.

This is 0.7pc higher than the average for England as a country.

Some areas of the UK did have higher levels of casualties due to drink driving, with the South West of England coming in highest at 6.2pc.

The figures nationally of drink-driving fatalities has risen since 2015, however not by enough to be statistically significant.

However, combined with injuries resulting due to drink driving accidents, there has been a rise of 7% since 2015.

This puts injuries and fatalities at its highest level since 2012.

The figures also show an estimated 230 people died in drink-drive crashes during the year, up from 200 in 2015.

The report has lead to the country’s biggest independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart to call for better police resource. The charity also asked the public to stop their friends and loved ones from getting behind the wheel after drinking – even taking away their keys if they have to.

Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at IAM RoadSmart, said: “These figures are very disappointing. It is not just the job of the police to stop drink-driving – we can all play a part.

“Often those who drink heavily do so in the company of others – we all cannot turn a blind eye while those same people pick up their car keys and head off home.”

Ms Ashton continued: “If we really care for our friends and family, we should do our utmost to stop them from taking such dangerous and potentially fatal actions – it takes nothing to offer them a bed for the night, and only allow them back into their car after a safe period the morning after.”

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Three people are accused of a “violent and prolonged” assault which led to the death of a rough sleeper in a Colchester car park.

Sixth forms and colleges across Suffolk have united for a campaign to lobby the government for better funding.

Plans for a “nationally groundbreaking” multi-million pound development in Bury St Edmunds which could see health, leisure, and education services brought together on one site have been revealed.

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