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New law to stop alcohol dependent drivers taking to the road

By EchoMichael  |  Posted: May 02, 2013

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond

Comments (4)

DANGEROUS drink drivers will now have to pass a medical before they are allowed back on the road.
A new law, which comes into force on June 1, will force high risk offenders to pass a test to prove they are no longer alcohol dependent before they can drive again.
Currently drivers who have been banned can get behind the wheel again as soon as they apply for their licence at the end of their disqualification. Evidence suggests some offenders put off having their medical after applying for their licence so they can drive despite being alcohol dependent. 
The new law will prevent offenders from driving again until they have passed the medical.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: "These changes will tighten up the law on drink driving and will mean that the most dangerous offenders will have to prove they are no longer dependent on alcohol before they are allowed to get back behind the wheel."

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  • Matt1006  |  May 02 2013, 3:57PM

    What the report should state is that this new law will "prevent offenders from driving LEGALLY again until they have passed the medical". It won't make an atom of difference to those who continue to drive whilst banned, or just fail to go through the proper procedures to reapply for their licence once they've served their ban period in full. Sadly, apart from locking them up permanently, there seems to be little that can be done to physically stop the hardcore minority of banned drivers from getting behind the wheel, whether they are alcohol-dependent or not (and whether drunk, or completely sober). And for drivers who are alcohol-dependent and therefore keep getting caught drink-driving, they'll potentially just ignore this new requirement (knowing they'll fail the test, and be refused a new licence) and therefore continue to drive whilst over the limit. This might be a small step forwards, but much more is needed to deal successfully with the hardcore minority, such as much longer bans (including life bans), with mandatory lengthy custodial sentences for repeat offenders.

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  • BigAlsab  |  May 02 2013, 3:06PM

    Nice to see that the missing "o" has been inserted.

  • IsitJimKerr  |  May 02 2013, 2:43PM

    'New law to stop alcohol dependent drivers taking to the road' I'm astounded to hear that they ever WERE allowed back behind the wheel without some sort of test/assessment.

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  • BigAlsab  |  May 02 2013, 1:45PM

    Was the reporter who wrote the headline on "alchol" ?!!