Young teens caught drink-driving

Drivers as young as 11 and 12 years are being caught drinking, police records show.
Drivers as young as 11 and 12 years are being caught drinking, police records show.
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Children as young as 14 have been caught drinking and driving in West Yorkshire in the last six years, police records show.

Statistics released by Yorkshire’s four police forces under the Freedom of Information Act show that 416 under-18s were spotted driving over the legal alcohol limit between 2008 and 2013.

In other parts of the country even younger children have been stopped, according to figures obtained by in-car camera provider Nextbase.

An 11-year-old offender was apprehended in the Thames Valley area in 2011 while numerous 12-year-olds were stopped in Scotland in 2012 and in Manchester in 2008.

West Yorkshire saw the highest number of young drink drivers over the six years, with 165 under-18s caught. The youngest was a 14-year-old in 2010 and 2011.

Last year a total of six under-18s were caught, with the youngest being 17.

An average of 1,000 people aged under 18 have been convicted of drink-driving per year since 2008 and five under-age drivers aged 16 or below every week over the same period.

Based on responses from 43 police forces following Freedom of Information Act requests, the figures covered the number of under-18 drink-drivers caught in the six years from 2008 to 2013.

A spokesman from one of the police force’s Freedom of Information offices said the nature of drink-driving convictions in under-18s is such that they will often be found in conjunction with other convictions.

The cluster of offences committed by underage drink-drivers may include unlawful possession of a vehicle, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and illegal purchase of alcohol, as well as driving in excess of the legal limit.

Under UK law, the minimum age limits for driving vary from 16-24 years old depending on the type of vehicle, but it is strictly illegal to drive any motor vehicle on a public road before the age of 16. It is illegal for under-18s to buy alcohol, or to drink in any public place.

Nextbase spokesman Bryn Brooker said: “Uninsured drivers on UK roads pose a huge threat to the safety of the vast majority of responsible motorists and pedestrians.

“These threats come in many forms and today’s findings go to show that it’s not just those who illegally choose not to buy insurance. Motorists have to be aware of such threats and take appropriate measures to mitigate the risk.”


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