Britons could get driving ban at the roadside when on drugs or drunk under new road safety proposals

Britons could get driving ban at the roadside when on drugs or drunk under new road safety proposals

WATCH: Sarah Hope comments on dangerous driving

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 22/02/2024

- 09:26

Almost 10 per cent of motorists tested positive for driving under the influence last Christmas

Police could introduce new powers to disqualify motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol instantly at the roadside in a huge shake-up of driving laws.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council wants to ensure tougher punishments for Britons who break the law and drive while under the influence.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner, who leads the Council, also wants harsher punishments for drivers who kill while under the influence, including potential murder charges.

The crackdown on intoxicated drivers follows a campaign by Ceinwen Briddon, who called for tougher sentences after her 21-year-old daughter, Miriam, was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.

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Police could ban drivers on the spot for driving under influence

The police conducted nearly 50,000 breath tests last Christmas


Miriam was travelling from her home to visit her boyfriend when she was hit by an oncoming car, driven by a motorist who was under the influence of alcohol. She died in the collision.

Briddon said: “Miriam was only 21 years old and had her whole life ahead of her. She was one of four sisters as well as being an identical twin.

“She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was talented, generous, gentle and caring; never without a smile on her face.”

The campaign hopes to raise awareness of the numerous preventable deaths and injuries caused by reckless driving.

Supporting the campaign, Shiner stated that the ability for the police to be able to disqualify people either for drink or drug driving by the roadside would put an immediate end to people who drive carelessly.

She commented: “Those people haven’t got the ability to be behind the wheel, particularly if they’ve blown well over the legal limit.”

“We should have greater sentencing and far greater sentences particularly for those people who do kill or seriously injure people on the roads.”

Likening the charges to that of homicide investigations, Shiner explained how if someone decides to get behind the wheel while under the influence, it is a conscious decision and should be prosecuted and treated the same way.

In 2015, a man was jailed after he admitted to causing the death of Miriam Briddon through reckless driving while over the legal limit.

As a result, he served half of his five-year jail term and was banned from driving for five years.

Ceinwen Briddon’s campaigning has spurred on a call to change the laws meaning those who are found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving could face a life sentence.

Nearly 50,000 breath tests were conducted last Christmas by the police with 9.5 per cent of motorists testing positive for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Campaign calls for tougher punishments for driving under influence

The police made 6,616 arrests for being drunk on drugs when behind the wheel


In total, the police made 6,616 arrests for drink or drug driving while behind the wheel and 1,589 people were charged.

Shiner added: “I think we really do need to work hard on making sure that we’re strengthening the sentencing and making sure that we are properly using, where we can, sentencing that is already available to us.”

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