Around 1,000 children and under-age teenagers are caught drink-driving every year on average – with some as young as 11, according to police data.
The records show an 11-year-old was stopped in the Thames Valley area three years ago found to be, not only driving, but doing so while over the legal limit of alcohol.
Meanwhile, 12-year-olds were caught drink-driving in Manchester in 2008 and in Scotland two years ago.
Road traffic accident risk
These are the nation’s youngest drink-drivers, but on average 1,000 people under the age of 18 are convicted of such crimes each year, in-car camera firm Nextbase reveals.
That’s an average of five a week. Their actions put innocent motorists at risk of being involved in highly dangerous road traffic accidents.
Nextbase used Freedom of Information requests to find the true extent of under-age drink-drivers, caught by 43 police forces in the UK. All forces had caught at least one during the six-year period from 2008.
Scotland proved the worst area for the problem with 718 arrests; ahead of Greater Manchester, where 409 arrests were made; Hampshire (276), Devon and Cornwall (241).
Although the number of offences has fallen each year since 2008, some areas saw increases between 2012 and last year, Nextbase reveals. These include South Yorkshire, where several youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 were caught drink-driving in 2013.
The steepest falls in under 18 drink-driver cases were in the Merseyside, Devon and Cornwall force areas.
A spokesman for one force said many drink-driving cases are uncovered because of other convictions, such as unlawful possession of a vehicle, driving without insurance or a licence, speeding and buying drink illegally.
Under 18s who get behind the wheel and are not insured are a threat to the motoring public, according to Bryn Brooker, of Nextbase.
Motorists should be aware that drivers without insurance are not just those who choose not to buy it, but those who are not entitled to it at all as they are too young, Mr Brooker says.
If you have been hurt in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone to find out whether you could make a car crash claim.