New drink-drive regulations to be introduced

Drink-drive rules are being tightened up and the most dangerous offenders will now have to prove they are no longer dependent on alcohol.

Police (Image © Northumbria Police)The current rules dictate that all high risk offenders must pass a medical examination before they can have their driving licence re-issued after disqualification. However, drivers can start driving as soon as they have applied for their licence and before they have taken and passed the necessary medical.

But from 1 June the most dangerous drink-drivers will have to pass a medical confirming they are no longer alcohol dependent at the end of their disqualification and before they start driving.

Also, those offenders who refuse to allow their blood samples to be analysed will also, from 1 June, only get their licence back following disqualification if they pass the required medical.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Drink-drivers are a menace and it is right that we do everything we can to keep the most high risk offenders off the road.”

Last year the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency was notified by the courts of just over 50,000 drink-driving convictions. Nearly 22,000 of those were classed as high risk offenders and of those, around 5,000 drivers either failed, or failed to attend, their medical.

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