Thousands of under-18s have been caught drink-driving, police records show

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Thousands of under-18s have been caught drink-driving, police records show.

Records released by 43 UK police forces in response to a Freedom of Information request show 6,558 people aged under 18 were caught driving under the influence of alcohol between 2008 and 2013.

The figures, obtained by in-car camera provider Nextbase, found the youngest offender was aged 11, in the Thames Valley in 2011.

The government said drink-driving laws were being strengthened.

The records show that an average of five under-18s were caught drink-driving each week. Some of those under 18 were driving without insurance and a quarter were 16 or younger.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Under-age driving is illegal and no person under the age of 17 should be driving a car. We have tough laws in place to tackle those caught driving without a licence.

“Drink-driving is a menace that costs lives, and the government is strengthening the law to help police crack down on this problem.”

The total number of under-age drink-driver incidents has fallen slightly year-on-year – Merseyside and Devon and Cornwall saw the greatest fall between 2012 and 2013.

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