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“Forfeiture of vehicles” to be introduced in 2013

October 22, 2012

The DfT’s ‘road safety action plan’ includes new legislation to seize the vehicles of drink and drug drivers, according to an investigation by Auto Express.

The DfT’s plan lists “forfeiture of vehicles” as a measure to be introduced in 2013, and the Auto Express article says a DfT spokeswoman has confirmed that the new powers would be used specifically for drink and drug driving offences.

Auto Express also says that the new drug driving law, announced earlier this year, will not come into effect until 2015, and that police will not get access to roadside ‘drugalysers’ until the same date.

Edmund King, AA president, believes that vehicle seizure could be a good thing, so long as the powers are used sensibly.

He said: “There is a problem with drink drivers who don’t stop and re-offend and re-offend. Some of these drink drivers have a drink problem rather than a driving problem.

“So you can ban someone from driving for a period of time, but if they get their licence back and still have a drink problem, they are likely to re-offend. If this is targeted at persistent offenders, it’s a good idea.

“I think you have to be careful that you’re not taking away the family car, that it’s not affecting people who aren’t drink driving.”

It is likely that the vehicle seizures will be introduced in April next year to coincide with a raft of other measures, according to Auto Express.

These include the new offence of careless, which will give police the powers to issue fixed penalty notices to drivers who tailgate, undertake or cut up other road users; and the withdrawal of the statutory right to a blood test for drivers caught over the drink limit.

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