Lawyer warns drink and drug drivers face life in prison as Festive crackdown looms

Rachael Stibbe

Senior Associate

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November 21, 2022

As the Festive season draws near, a personal injury specialist with law firm Furley Page has welcomed tough new sentencing laws for motorists found guilty of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, including the introduction of life sentences.

Police forces across the country tend to step up their efforts to combat drink and drug-driving during the Christmas party season. More than 400 Kent motorists were arrested for drink or drug-driving offences during last year’s seasonal campaign.

Additionally, with the World Cup kicking off there is also the possibility that individuals who are over the legal limit for alcohol may be tempted to drive after enjoying a match at the pub.

Rachael Stibbe, an Associate specialising in Personal Injury Claims with law firm Furley Page, said: “Previously, these offences attracted a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, but such drivers now rightly face life sentences and Judges will state in each case what the minimum imprisonment should be.

“The threat of longer prison sentences for such serious driving offences should hopefully improve driver standards and act as a serious deterrent to such criminality – so it is essential that motorists are aware of the risks.

“A new offence has also been created of causing serious injury while drink- or drug-driving. Under the old law, an incident of careless driving which resulted in serious injury would typically attract a financial penalty with penalty points or a short period of disqualification.

“The Government argued that this did not reflect the severity and often life-changing injuries suffered by victims. Therefore, under the new law, a defendant could receive a custodial sentence of up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine if their careless driving results in a serious injury being suffered.

“For injured victims of negligent drivers, it can be helpful if the defendant is convicted of a relevant related driving offence. However, the absence of a road traffic offence doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in your personal injury claim. What matters is; was the other driver wholly or partly to blame, not was their driving so bad that they have also committed an offence.

“Therefore, even if the defendant is not charged with, or found not guilty of, a road traffic offence that does not mean that you cannot succeed in a civil claim for personal injury against them.”

Furley Page’s Personal Injury solicitors are well-versed in handling all types of compensation claims and the team is recognised for its expertise by independent legal guides, The Legal 500 and Chambers UK. The firm is also professionally accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (‘APIL’) and all team members have satisfied comprehensive criteria in managing personal injury claims.

For legal advice on making a personal injury claim, please contact Rachael Stibbe on or call 01227 763939.