Page last updated: March 27, 2017

Repeat drink drive offenders highlighted in the UK

The DVLA have released information on drink driving in mainland Britain in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. Between 2011 and 2015, 219,008 people were given endorsements on their licence for driving or attempting to drive while above the legal alcohol limit, while 8,068 were caught twice and 449 drivers were banned for drink-driving three times in those four years with dozens caught more than that. Two drivers were prosecuted for the offence six times. Motorists caught drink-driving face a ban of at least a year, an unlimited fine and in the most serious cases up to six months' imprisonment. But some are offered places on rehabilitation courses to reduce the length of their disqualification. Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The fact that more than 8,000 drivers have been caught twice in five years is all the more astonishing when they should have been off the road for a year or more. The repeat offender figures also suggest that a minority of drivers have a drink problem rather than a driving problem... Perhaps it is time to review some of the medical checks and rehabilitation courses before allowing these drivers back on the road.”

In Ireland, according to research complied by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in August 2016 approximately 7,651 disqualified drivers have continued to drive despite having concurrent disqualifications on their driving license, and almost 98% of all disqualified drivers have ignored written requests from the authorities to submit their driving licenses. The RSA utilised the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) database of the country’s 2.6 million drivers and its own administration of driving licenses, focusing on drivers that had been apprehended for drink driving or who had caused a road traffic crash injury or fatality, finding that by the end of 2015 there were 41,713 disqualifications applied to 22,674 drivers, indicating a high level of non-compliance and multiple bans. The data indicates that banned drivers are responsible for the fatalities of between 11 and 14 people every year. The RSA Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock stated that the authority intends to publish a “name and shame” register of disqualified drivers on its website.
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