Three people every day in the south west are injured or killed in a drink driving related accident, new figures show.

Data from the Department for Transport statistics show that thee were 920 casualties in road accidents involving an illegal alcohol level in 2016.

Of the casualties, 120 people were seriously injured while 20 were killed.

In the South West, drink driving accounted for more than 6.3 per cent of 14,733 road accidents across the region, the highest in the UK and an increase on 2010, when drink driving accounted for 5.3 of total road accidents in the region.

Meanwhile, across the UK, an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured on Britain’s roads in 2016 in crashes where a driver was over the alcohol limit.

Police Constable Heidi Moxam, of the Dorset Police traffic unit, said: “Too many people who are otherwise law-abiding citizens fail to consider the untold devastation that drink and drug driving can cause.

"I have been the person knocking on the door to inform relatives that their loved one has been killed as a result of a motorist who thinks it is okay to get behind the wheel while under the influence. This is something that I do not want to do."

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, added. “Every one of those deaths was needless. Making the selfish choice to drive while under the influence has the potential to devastate families."

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, claimed current laws give a “false impression” that it is safe to drink and drive, warning that “even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving”.

Mr Harris said: “How many more lives must be needlessly lost before the Government acts on drink-driving?

“Today’s figures show that drink-driving is an increasing blight on British roads and yet the Government sits on its hands and refuses to address the issue.”

“Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams described the casualty statistics as “very disappointing”.

He said: “The number of KSI (killed or seriously injured) accidents involving illegal levels of alcohol have been relatively stable for a number of years but are now worryingly showing an increase.

“We are concerned that this may be the start of a trend to which the Government must be vigilant.”