Dozens of under-18s drinking and driving each year

Drivers as young as 11 and 12 years are being caught drinking, police records show.
Drivers as young as 11 and 12 years are being caught drinking, police records show.

Children as young as 14 have been caught drinking and driving in parts of Yorkshire in the last six years, police records show.

Statistics released by the region’s four police forces under the Freedom of Information Act show that 416 under-18s were spotted driving having illegally drunk alcohol in Yorkshire between 2008 and 2013.

According to figures obtained by in-car camera provider Nextbase, an 11-year-old offender was apprehended in the Thames Valley area in 2011 while numerous 12-year-olds were stopped in Scotland in 2012 and in Manchester in 2008.

West Yorkshire saw the region’s highest number of young drink drivers over the six years, with 165 under-18s caught. The youngest was a 14-year-old in 2010 and 2011.

North Yorkshire saw 104 over the same period, while Humberside Police and South Yorkshire Police caught 72 and 75 respectively. The forces saw between eight and 12 drink drivers aged under 18 each last year.

An average of 1,000 people aged under 18 have been convicted of drink-driving per year since 2008 nationwide. Five under-age drivers aged 16 or below were caught every week over the same period. The worst English region was Greater Manchester.

Under UK law, the minimum age limits for driving vary from 16-24 years old depending on the type of vehicle, but it is strictly illegal to drive any motor vehicle on a public road before the age of 16. It is illegal for under-18s to buy alcohol, or to drink in any public place.