The warnings come after a disproportionate rise in the number of Eastern European drivers being referred by the courts to attend driver education courses following drink driving convictions.
Figures from the TTC Group - the country’s largest provider of the Department for Transport’s drink drive rehabilitation scheme - show that Eastern European drivers prosecuted for drink driving are twice as likely to have excessively higher levels of alcohol in their systems.
Fleet managers are also facing other obstacles when employing foreign drivers. “It is virtually impossible for an employer to check on the status of a foreign licence, and, as EU licence holders can drive in the UK for up to three years, this gives an unacceptably long period of time in which employers are left in the dark,” explained Saul Jeavons from corporate road safety specialists, the Transafe Network.
“However, such drivers can also exchange their licence for a British one at any time, and so best practice to set policy and employment contracts to require them to exchange for a British licence on commencement of employment, allowing their licence to be checked for endorsements and bans.”