Cornwall has been found to be one of Britain's hotspots for drink driving, with police linking one in nine crashes to alcohol impairment last year.

Road safety charity Brake called the persistence of dangerous behaviour on the roads "deeply concerning" as it renewed calls for a zero-tolerance stance on drink and drug driving nationally.

Department for Transport data shows drivers or riders impaired by alcohol contributed to 109 crashes in Cornwall last year.

The figures, which report contributory factors for incidents as recorded by police, also show 24 people affected by illicit or medicinal drugs.

It means alcohol was linked to 12 per cent of a total 940 incidents which had contributory factors in 2019 – among the highest proportions in Britain – while impairment through drugs was reported in three per cent.​

Officers can record one or more causes for any vehicle incident where someone suffers even a slight injury. These do not have to involve cars and may include a cyclist falling over or a motorbike colliding with a pedestrian.

A driver or rider could be marked as being impaired by alcohol or drugs if police believe their behaviour directly caused or contributed to the accident, whether over the legal limit or not.

The legal level for alcohol in blood in England is 80mg per 100ml.

Joshua Harris, Brake's director of campaigns, said the presence of drink and drug driving on the roads was concerning but "all too predictable".

"We know that any amount of alcohol impairs driving, and yet the government persists with the highest drink-drive limit in Europe in England, Wales and Northern Ireland," he said.

"We urge the government to introduce an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit, providing much-needed clarity to all drivers that if you drink, you must not drive."

Transport committee MPs announced this month that they are considering a no-alcohol limit for new drivers under the age of 25 in a bid to curb the number of casualties on the roads each year.

The most common contributory factor in Cornwall was drivers and riders not looking properly, listed in 38 per cent of incidents, followed by failing to judge the other person's path or speed (24 per cent) and being careless, reckless or in a hurry (20 per cent).

Different figures show 21 people were killed and 312 seriously injured on the county's roads last year.

This was compared to 21 deaths and 303 serious injuries in 2018.

Total casualties, which include slight injuries, fell from 1,690 to 1,616 over the period.

Mr Harris said the "decimation" of roads policing over the past decade had left the UK unable to reduce its high levels of dangerous driving.