A boy of nine was caught driving while over the alcohol limit – but was too young to be prosecuted. Records reveal he was breathalysed and taken into custody after being discovered drunk behind the wheel. But when shocked officers found out his age, they had to release him without charge.
The boy from Cumbria, who has not been named, is believed to be one of the youngest held for drink-driving in the UK. Safety campaigners alarmed by the child’s arrest are demanding action over juvenile car crime.
Kath Hartley, of the road safety campaigning charity Brake, said: “This is shocking and one of the youngest I have ever heard of.” She called for road safety education classes in school, adding: “This must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Young people must be taught the dangers of getting behind the wheel without proper training.”
And Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said: “It is alarming a nine-year-old can get alcohol let alone then get in a car and drive. I’ve never heard of someone so young drink driving. It seems we are in the grip of a serious social problem. Everyone has a duty to stop this happening. We have to look again at how we protect and supervise children in relation to alcohol.”
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