|From 1 June, a change in the law will require the UK’s most dangerous drink drivers to pass a medical before they are allowed to drive.
The most dangerous drink drivers are ’High Risk Offenders’.A driver is classed as a High Risk Offender if they were convicted of:
• two drink driving offences within ten years
• driving when 2.5 times or more above the legal alcohol limit
• refusing to give the police a sample of breath, blood or urine to test for
High Risk Offenders do not automatically receive their driving licence at the end of a driving ban; first they must pass a medical examination to confirm that they are no longer alcohol dependent.However, currently the law allows High Risk Offenders to start driving as soon as they have made their application for a driving licence, which can be before they have had their medical. Evidence suggests that some High Risk Offenders have been delaying the date of their medical examination to allow them to continue driving.The tightening of the law will mean that this can no longer happen; High Risk Offenders will not be allowed to drive before they have passed the medical.
In 2012 DVLA was advised by the courts that there were just over 50,000 drink
drive convictions, with nearly 22,000 of those drivers classed as high risk offenders.
In the last 30 years the number of road casualties caused by drink driving have
fallen dramatically, however in 2011 the number of people estimated to have been
killed in drink drive accidents was 280 - 15% of all road fatalities. It is estimated
that the total number of reported drink driving casualties for 2011 was 9,990.
(Figures taken from Reported Road Casulties in Great Britain: 2011 Annual Report, published by the Department of Transport. Read
the full report here)