Repeat drink-drivers should face tougher sentences, according to the road charity Brake. It’s suggestion comes at a time when repeat offences are becoming more common…
Rising Repeat Offences
Data acquired by Brake has revealed that repeat offences for drink-driving are on the rise. Secured via the Freedom of Information Act, it showed that over 5,000 drivers have been caught for repeat offences over the last four years. 5,181 drivers were caught for repeat offences, 4,879 were caught twice and 275 were caught three times; shockingly, one driver was caught six times over the same period of time. As it stands, drink-drivers face the prospect of an unlimited fine, receiving between three and 11 points on their driving licenses and a driving ban for one year; not to mention potentially six months behind bars, determined by magistrates.
Tougher Penalties For Drink-Drivers
Brake is concerned by the rise in repeat offences and is calling for tougher penalties to address them. It’s suggested courts be granted powers to extend driving bans to three years for ‘high-risk offenders’. These, it said, include drivers convicted of two drink-driving offences within ten years. Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, described the figures as “shocking”. He said, “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.”
In addition to extended driving bans, Harris suggested the government introduce a zero-tolerance limit and grant courts additional powers. It also wants greater investment in road policing. It’s also called on the government to introduce alcohol interlocks as a part of rehabilitation programmes. These are essentially breathalysers installed in cars, they require drivers to blow into them before the ignition will function; preventing the car being used if they’re over the limit. They’ve already been deployed in France, Sweden and America with some success. Harris said, “technology also has a role to play in tacking 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.”
Will They Work?
There are parallels between drink-driving and the use of mobile phone usage whilst at the wheel. Tougher penalties were introduced in 2017 but, despite these, the number of offences has actually increased. This is despite numerous campaigns around the dangers of the phenomenon, too. It begs the question, are tougher penalties of any use if not backed up by significant enforcement?
Police To Begin Using Drones To Monitor Drivers: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/police-begin-using-drones-monitor-drivers/
Britain’s Road Deaths Unchanged Since 2012: https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/britain-s-road-deaths-unchanged-since-2012/