Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during pandemic

Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

Deaths caused by alcohol consumption hit a new high during the first nine months of 2020, new figures for England and Wales show.

Between January and September, 5,640 deaths were registered with this cause – an increase of 16% on the same period in 2019. This significant increase has been the highest recorded figure since records began in 2001. The high rates spanned the period during and after the first national COVID-19 lockdown, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

As in past years, rates of male alcohol-specific deaths were twice those seen for women. Experts say the coronavirus pandemic will have had little effect on how the data was gathered and recorded. But it is not clear how much it may have contributed to the deaths.

A spokesman for ONS said:

“Today’s data shows that in the first three quarters of 2020, alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales reached the highest level since the beginning of our data series, with April to September, during and after the first lockdown, seeing higher rates compared to the same period in previous years.”

“The reasons for this are complex and it will take time before the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on alcohol-specific deaths is fully understood.”

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment of consumption. While an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking beer, wine or spirits can take its toll.

Consumption of alcohol can impact various parts of the body. Effects can range from weakening of the immune and digestive system, to inflammation and sugar level issues.

Our ‘Effects Of’ Series provides a range of educational posters that ca be displayed in workplaces to highlight the dangers of alcohol. Click here to view them.

Did you know that alcohol misuse at work can:

  • increase sickness and absenteeism
  • harm the reputation of the business
  • decrease productivity
  • put employees and members of the public in unnecessary risk

Breath Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

Handheld breathalysers are an ideal device for conducting workplace alcohol testing. Quick and easy testing provides an instant readout of the donor’s breath alcohol measurement.  Simply compare the reading to the cutoff defined in your own drug and alcohol testing policy.

Breathalyser devices gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air. This type of testing can accurately determine whether a person has recently consumed alcohol or is currently over the legal or pre-determined limit. Breathalyser calibrations are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and periodically accuracy checked to ensure results are accurate and reliable.

How Randox Testing Services can help

At Randox Testing Services, we are pleased to offer a range of stand-alone alcohol tests or combinations of tests to meet your needs.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

Whether for use in workplace settings or for use in court proceedings for medico-legal cases, our range of alcohol testing methods will provide you with accurate and reliable results at competitive prices.

For more information on our alcohol testing services, or to request a quote, contact us using any of the below details.



Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011