More than 5,000 motorists have been caught drink-driving multiple times

More than 5,000 motorists have been caught drink-driving multiple times
More than 5,000 motorists have been caught drink-driving multiple times

More than 5,000 motorists have been caught drink-driving on more than one occasion in the past four years, it has emerged.

Of the 5,181 repeat offenders, 4,879 drivers were caught drunk at the wheel twice, 275 were caught three times and one driver was caught six times, the figures reveal.

The data was obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) via a freedom of information request submitted by the road safety charity Brake.

The scale of repeat offending uncovered has prompted Brake to call on the courts to increase the number of driving bans handed out to keep “unsafe drivers off the road”.

Courts urged to hand out more driving bans

Brake has also asked the Government to give the green light to proposals to introduce “alcohol interlocks” to drink-driver rehabilitation programmes in the UK.

Alcohol interlocks are automatic control systems designed to prevent driving with excess alcohol by requiring the driver to blow into an in-car breathalyser before starting the ignition. The devices are already used in drink-drive offender rehabilitation schemes in the US and Sweden.

What are the penalties for drink-driving?

Motorists caught driving, or attempting to drive, while above the legal limit or while unfit due to alcohol can receive an unlimited fine; a driving ban of at least one year; or a six-month prison sentence, with the penalty decided by the magistrates who hear the case.

Anyone convicted of two drink-driving offences within 10 years can face a three-year driving ban.

‘Devastating consequences’

“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,” said Joshua Harris, a Brake spokesman.

He added: “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.”

@kt_grant

Electric cars to get green number plates under government plan

Different plates could make it easier to apply incentives such as free parking and priority lane use to zero-emissions vehicles

Driver escapes ban after filming himself driving at 100mph on one of Britain's deadliest roads

Footage showed £100,000 Audi racing towards oncoming traffic on notorious Snake Pass

BMW extends fire risk recall, here are the affected models

27,000 more vehicles under scrutiny over possible exhaust system fault

Ban on car finance commissions 'will save drivers £165m a year'

FCA acts to address serious concerns about drivers being pushed into higher interest loans