The Department for Transport has published provisional figures which show that the number of deaths as a result of drink-drive road accidents in Britain increased by 26% in 2012.

There were a total of 290 fatal drink-drive accidents, compared with 230 in 2011.

More than 1,200 people also suffered serious injuries, and 8,500 were slightly injured from being involved in drink-drive accidents last year.

Peter Mulhern, Head of Serious Injury at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “At Thompsons, we handle thousands of cases for people injured in road traffic accidents every year and it’s alarming to see a significant increase in both deaths and serious injuries from drink-driving last year.

“A driver who is over the limit puts themselves at risk but their victims are often other innocent people. More should be done now to stem this rise.

“On behalf of those we acted for whose lives have been shattered by the thoughtless behaviour of a drunk driver we say the Government must not sit back in the face of this rise and do nothing. They should use it to review the current drink-drive limit and/or the penalties for those who wilfully ignore the law.”