More than 8,000 caught drink-driving twice in last five years

12.00 | 3 January 2017 | | 4 comments

More than 8,000 motorists have been caught driving while over the alcohol limit twice in the five year period 2011-2015, according to information obtained by the Press Association.

Reported by the BBC on 30 December, the data comes from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the DVLA. It also shows that 449 drivers were caught three times for the offence, 46 drivers four times, five drivers five times while two drivers were caught a total of six times. In total, 219,008 people were caught drink-driving once in the same five-year period.

The DVLA data shows the number of drink-drive convictions has fallen in recent years, from 53,885 in 2011 to 42,587 in 2015.

Despite this, the AA described the numbers as ‘astonishing’ and called for a review of the process of returning licences to banned drivers.

Edmund King OBE, president of the AA, told the BBC: "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.

"Perhaps it is time to review some of the medical checks and rehabilitation courses before allowing these drivers back on the road."

A convicted drink-driver not deemed to be a ‘high risk’ offender can apply to get their licence back once their ban has ended, but they have to fill out a health-related questionnaire.

The DVLA told the BBC that it has to issue a licence when a driver had served their disqualification period, but would investigate and take ‘appropriate action’ if there was any indication of ‘an ongoing issue with alcohol’.





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    David, I don’t think that many officers would, after the person has passed a breath test, continue with a prosecution based merely on an assumption of tiredness or inability to drive properly. He may go down the drugs route. The CPS wouldn’t go ahead without sound evidence as they dont like losing cases. It makes them look bad. So if the breath test is negative no matter what amount of alcohol the driver has enjoyed he or she gets to drive off into the sunset.

    I am beginning to like the 1974 Australian idea of graduated offences. Set a lower limit of say 50 and the higher above that the greater the offence becomes. The larger the fine and the more the endorsements and possible risk of immediate disqualifications.

    That should get the drinkers thinking. If I have too many I would be prosecuted, dependant upon the amount showing be fined on the spot, receive endorsements and possible be disqualified. Then have the right to appeal in court. Bring it into line with many other offences.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    DD is disgraceful. I have been guilty of it twice and there’s no way I should have been granted my license back after the first offence. However, we cannot police such decisions. At the end of the day, each individual is responsible for their actions and the authorities should not be given more power. They already have far too much.

    AC Hull
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    …as opposed to tiredness, inability to take into account the conditions of the road, passenger distraction, etc?

    If an officer believes that someone was impaired through drink, and yet was below the proscribed drink drive limit, there still is an avenue of prosecution.

    David Weston, Corby
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    This is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s only figures for those that have failed a breath test and have been dealt with for the offence. Many many more are drinking and driving but assume that they will not be caught. They also have accidents and collisions that injure people but are found to be under the present legal limit. No action is taken against them for having any alchol in their system although it may be apparently clear to the police officer that alcohol was directly responsible or at least a contributory factor in the incident.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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