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11 Year Olds Caught Drink Driving In The UK

By raccars Published

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On average, every year, a thousand under 18s are convicted of drink driving. Since 2008, five underage (meaning 16 years and younger) drink drivers are caught on a weekly basis.

The data was reveals in a Freedom of Information request to 45 police forces in the UK, of which 43 responded. The data showed that underage drink drivers have been caught by every police force in the UK, with a total of 6,558 minors found to be driving under the influence of alcohol in the past six years. Twenty six per cent of those were found to be 16 years old or younger, which means they were not only breaking drink driving laws but were also un-insured and driving without a licence.

The information revealed that in 2011 Thames Valley police arrested an 11 year old for drink driving and police in Scotland and Manchester have both arrested 12 year olds for the same, in 2012 and 2008 respectively.

The problem is at its worst in Greater Manchester, where the last six years have seen 409 arrests of under 18s for drink driving offences. Rural areas also suffer, with Hampshire recording 276 drink drivers under the age of 18. Devon and Cornwall had 241 instances and Sussex police arrested 160 in the same time frame. Per capita, Scotland has more underage drink drivers than the rest of the UK, with 718 arrests since 2008.

The good news is that the overall number of arrests is falling slightly every year, even though some areas have posted increases in 2012 and 2013. South Yorkshire's tally of underage drink driving arrests went from ten 17 year olds in 2012, to twelve underage offenders in 2013, including fifteen 15 and 16 year olds. Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Kent, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, South Wales, Staffordshire and Thames Valley also saw numbers rise in 2013. Devon and Cornwall and Merseyside police forces saw the biggest fall in underage drink drivers in 2013.

Not only is driving under the influence of alcohol illegal in the UK, so is driving a motor vehicle on public roads under the age of 16. It is also illegal to buy alcohol or drink it in public places below the age of 18. A Freedom of Information office spokesperson pointed out that this means that the very fact of drink driving under the age of 18 naturally carried with it various other convictions. These often include possessing a vehicle unlawfully, driving without a licence or insurance and purchasing alcohol illegally.

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