Drink Drivers walk away without a ban 0

Over 1,500 convicted drink drivers walked away unpunished last year without a ban, according to official figures. Those offenders convicted of drink driving still have their license as a postcode lottery is used upon deciding who to prosecute according to some sources.

Suffolk and the City of London are the most relaxed areas as 4.7% of offenders escape without any punishment. Cumbria and Warwickshire had a lower rate of 1.3% of offenders escaping with disqualification.

Overall, last year 55,539 people were founding to be over the limit whilst behind the wheel. 1,480 managed to escape punishment according to statistics.

2.6% of those convicted of drink driving re-offend within 12 months (Figure from the Ministry of Justice indicate)

The statistics were gathered by insurance company LV. Their notes on the report stated that there was a major difference in sentencing between regions. Disqualification can be avoided at the moment if there are mitigating or exceptional circumstances related to the case. Magistrates have the right to take these factors into account. The right to enter those pleas are being criticised.

The Managing Director of the company reiterated how the offence is more frequent was we come to the end of the year. Selwyn Fernandes said “Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence and leads to automatic disqualification in the majority of cases. As we approach the Christmas party season, it is imperative that drivers know their legal limit and stick to it.”

Calls by victims and their families along with campaigners to force a ban on any drink driving offender could be considered. The statistics certainly prove there to be a strong case for such action. Kevin Clinton, the head of Road Safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is one of the people to criticise the current system saying “Drink drivers should not be allowed to plead exceptional circumstances.” He also stated how dangerous the offence is and how it sentencing should be executed in a more transparent manner. He was quoted to have said ‘Drink driving is such a serious offence that one hundred per cent of those convicted should lose their licence. Sentencing should be consistent. We need to know why people are not being disqualified and why there is such a postcode lottery on disqualification rates.’

The statistics released represent a worrying attitude towards drink driving. It must improve to make road safety standards better throughout the UK.

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