MP calls for tougher drink-drive sentences - including considering deportation

Matt Warman.

Matt Warman.

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A Lincolnshire MP has called for tougher drink-driving sentences - including considering deporting foreign nationals who commit the crime.

Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, has urged the Justice Secretary Michael Gove to tighten the sentencing regime for drink-driving, and to equally tackle offences committed by those of all nationalities.

At a meeting with the Mr Gove and Andrew Selous MP, the Justice Minister responsible for sentencing, 22 cross-party MPs shared their views on the current sentencing for drink-driving and called on the Government to bring in tougher laws on the offence, particularly where a fatal accident has occurred.

Mr Warman called for action to tackle the particular problem of drink-driving by those born outside the UK, through better data sharing on those who are already banned from driving, which would make it easier to identify people abroad and to prosecute those in cars with foreign registration plates. He also urged ministers to consider adding drink-driving to the list of offences for which a foreign national can be deported.

After the meeting, Mr Warman said: “Decades of campaigns in the UK have seen drink-driving levels fall nationally, but it remains an offence in Lincolnshire that court reports weekly show remains a serious local issue.

“I was pleased to raise my concerns about it with justice ministers, and call for harsher sentencing rules to be put in place to help tackle the problem. It is important that sentences for drink-driving are equally tough on anybody who has broken the law, but where an offence has been committed by a foreign national, I believe that prosecutors should be better able to identify people who have been banned abroad, better able to prosecute and ultimately able to consider deporting that individual – drink-driving costs lives, so we need a serious deterrent for all those who do not obey our laws on it. I look forward to seeing further action on this issue in due course, and will be closely following the government’s work on the matter.”

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