1500 convicted drink drivers avoid driving bans

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Car Rental News - 27/10/2011


A new report has said that almost 1,500 drink drivers avoided driving bans in 2010.

The study, commissioned by insurance company LV, said that among last year’s 55,539 drink driving convictions that 1,480, walked away with no disqualifications, which amounts to as many as one in every 20 convicted drink drivers. Authors cited freedom of information statistics obtained from the Ministry of Justice.

The report also said that some 2.6 per cent of all drink driving offenders faced similar charges again within one year. Moreover, disqualification rates are different across districts; the most ‘lenient’ was London and Suffolk, where up to 4.7 per cent of drink drivers walked away without a disqualification, compared to Cumbria and Warwickshire, where the figure was only about 1.3 per cent.

The study has already drawn heavy fire from road safety campaigners and groups, which say that disqualification should not be subject to a ‘postcode lottery’ and are calling for driving bans for all convicted drink drivers.

Kevin Clinton from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said the news was ‘shocking’ and called drink driving a ‘very serious’ crime in which sentencing should be consistent. He went on to say that drivers should no longer be allowed to claim ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the effort of retaining driving privileges.

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