Blunders by the police and the courts have resulted in thousands of drivers who should be banned being allowed back behind the wheel.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has admitted mistakes have led to 4,000 "high risk offenders" being handed their licences without having the legally required medical check ups after completing a drink drive ban.
The Daily Telegraph claimed that at least two of those went on to cause fatal accidents.
An internal DfT inquiry brought the errors to light and admitted the mistakes have taken place over a period of 20 years and the number of offenders who slipped through the net could be significantly higher than the 4,000 already identified.
Among the "high risk offenders" who should have been sent for a doctor's examination before having their licences returned are drivers who failed to supply a breath sample, ones disqualified twice in two years and drink-drivers who were more than two-and-a-half times over the legal limit.
Now the DfT is having to write to all of the offenders to insist they attend a medical examination.
Copyright © Press Association 2011