2,000 motorists a week are banned from driving: these are the most common causes

DVLA data shows drug-driving disqualifications have doubled in the last four years

Almost 2,000 drivers per week are banned from driving, with drink, drug and insurance offences among the most common reasons for disqualification.

Data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) shows that between January and March 2021, 19,247 motorists were disqualified from driving, and that doesn’t include those who were banned under “totting up” rules.

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In total, between 2017 and 2020, nearly 340,000 drivers were disqualified for one-off offences ranging from using a vehicle with defective tyres to causing death by dangerous driving.

Tens of thousands of drivers are disqualified every year

The figures, obtained by leasing firm Moneyshake via a Freedom of Information request, reveal that 8,476 of the disqualifications so far in 2021 were for drink-driving and show that between 2017 and 2020 180,853 people were banned for a drink-driving offence.

The data also shows a sharp increase in the number of people convicted of drug-driving. In 2020 19,568 received a drug-related ban, almost double the 11,972 recorded in 2017. The offences classed as drug-driving range from driving when unfit through drugs to failing to cooperate with a preliminary test.

Like drink-driving, drug-driving carries an automatic driving ban of at least a year, three to 11 penalty points, an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison. The licence endorsement also stays on an offenders’ licence for 11 years rather than the more usual four.

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Drink-driving, which carries an automatic ban is the most common reason for disqualification

Single speeding offences account for relatively few bans, with 15,913 drivers disqualified for speeding between 2017 and 2020. However, that figure doesn’t include those banned for accumulating points under the “totting up” rules, many of which will be for repeated speeding offences which usually carry a penalty of three to six points.

While drink and drug driving were the most common single offences leading to disqualification, the figures also show that being banned from driving doesn’t appear to stop some offenders. The DVLA data shows that 29,740 drivers were handed a further ban after being caught driving while already disqualified, equivalent to 16 drivers per day between 2017 and 2020.

Also in the last four years more than 10,000 drivers have been banned outright due to dangerous/reckless driving and insurance offences.

In fact, 13,774 motorists had their licence revoked for driving without insurance between 2017 and 2020 while 13,660 were disqualified for dangerous or reckless driving offences.

(Graphic: Kim Mogg/JPI Media)
For newly qualified drivers, being caught using a mobile phone could result in an automatic ban