Police officers in the UK could be given the power to disqualify drunk or drug drivers instantly at the roadside.

It comes as force chiefs are in early discussions looking at the type of tests that could be used and the legal changes needed to make the move possible.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), who is the lead for road policing, also wants to toughen punishments for drivers who kill while under the influence, including potential murder charges.

She discussed the potential changes: "The ability for us to be able to disqualify people either for drink or drug-driving by the roadside would mean that we can immediately take that risk off the road.

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

Whitchurch Herald: Campaigners have called for a rule change.Campaigners have called for a rule change. (Image: Getty)

New laws could see drink or drug drivers disqualified at the roadside

One supporter of the disqualification comes from Ceinwen Briddon, who campaigned for tougher sentences for fatal drivers after her 21-year-old daughter Miriam was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.

Gareth Entwhistle, then 34, was jailed after admitting to causing death by undue care while over the prescribed drink-drive limit in 2015.

He served half of a five-year jail term and was banned from driving for five years.

Briddon's campaigning focused on a change in the law where those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving can face a life sentence.

Sharing: "I would challenge anybody to say to me, how would they feel if they’d killed a person? How would they feel if they’d ruined a family’s life? Could they live with the thought of people hating them, and could they survive a lengthy period in jail?

“I do feel strongly that the length of sentence should reflect the crime.”

Chief Constable Shiner added that there should be "greater sentencing and far greater sentences, particularly for those people who do kill or seriously injure people on the roads."

Adding: "I liken it to some of the homicide investigations, to some of the sentences that we get for murders, I actually do believe that if someone makes that decision to get behind the wheel, under the influence of drink or drugs, that is a conscious decision they have made to get into a vehicle and therefore to put other people at risk.

“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.”


She also wants the power to seize vehicles of convicted drink and drug drivers.

Nearly 50,000 breath tests (49,812) were conducted over the festive season, with 9.5% testing positive, failed or refused.

Officers carried out 6,846 drug tests with 48.5% of those testing positive. In total 6,616 arrests were made, and 1,589 people were charged.