Alarmingly, 44 of these were younger than 17 years of age!


According to data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) following a Freedom of Information request, almost 20,000 drivers in the UK have been banned for drug-driving within a 15-month period. Of these, 18,175 were male drivers, whilst 44 were younger than 17 years of age.

In total, 19,615 motorists were disqualified from driving for drug-driving offences between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019.

From this figure, 18,175 or 92.7% were males and of these offenders, an alarming 44 were under the legal driving age in the UK of 17 – 5 aged 15 years and 29 aged 16 years were disqualified for drug offences before even having the chance of obtaining their driving licence.

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Almost 20,000 UK drivers banned for drug-driving in a 15-month period. © Copyright David Hawgood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

During the 15- month period, just 1,440 female drivers were banned for drug-driving offences, with none of them being under the legal age limit, however 5 were just 17 years of age.

When you combine these 5 females aged 17 with the 196 banned male 17 year olds, a total of 201 people were banned from driving for drug-driving offences within their first driving year.

At the opposite end of the scale, four drivers aged 70 or over were disqualified for drug offences within the same time period – three men and a woman. Also, 74 drivers in their 60s were banned for drug-driving offences – just two of whom were female.

According to the figures, an average of about 60 drivers face court sanctions for drug-driving offences every day in the UK and it’s 25-year-olds that stand out as the worst offenders,

The data does not confirm whether a jail term was handed out as well as disqualification, however 14,829 (76%) of the bans were for one to two years. In contrast, only 7 were for 10 years or more.

“What these statistics show is that drug driving is a hidden epidemic. Those who misuse substances then take control of a vehicle are not only putting their own lives at risk but also the safety and lives of all other road users,” said David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and former Road Safety Minister.



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