‘Decisive action’ needed to stop repeat drink-drivers

More than 5,000 people have been caught drink-driving on at least two occasions in the past four years, new figures show.

The DVLA figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information request from the road safety charity Brake, show that between 2015 and 2018 there were 5,181 repeat drink-drive offenders.

Of those, 4,879 drivers were caught for the offence twice and 275 three times – while one driver was detected six times.

Brake has expressed concern at the scale of repeat offending and is urging the Government to take ‘decisive action’ to tackle the issue.

The road safety charity is calling for the increased use of driving bans by the courts, in order to keep unsafe drivers off the road.

A present, the courts are able to impose a three-year driving ban for ‘high risk offenders’ – which includes those convicted of two drink driving offences within a decade.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Driving over the alcohol limit can have devastating consequences, so it is shocking to see thousands of drivers have been caught drink driving at least twice in the past four years.

“What is worse is that many of these drivers shouldn’t have been on the roads to offend again, if the full extent of the law had been used.

“It needs to be made clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol before getting behind the wheel is safe – something which our current drink drive limit fails to do.”

Time to introduce alcohol interlocks?
Brake is also calling on the Government to accelerate the introduction of alcohol interlocks as part of drink-drive offender rehabilitation programmes in the UK.

Alcohol interlocks are automatic control systems which are designed to prevent driving with excess alcohol by requiring the driver to blow into an in-car breathalyser before starting the ignition.

As part of Road Safety Action Plan, published in July, the Government indicated it was exploring the issue.

Joshua Harris added: “Technology also has a role to play in tackling the menace of drink driving.

“The use of alcohol interlocks must seriously be considered to prevent convicted drink-drive offenders from getting behind the wheel over the limit.”