The number of official warnings given to UK doctors has risen by nearly 50% in the past two years, figures revealed today.
The General Medical Council issued 262 reprimands last year, up from 179 in 2007, according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.
More than 130 cases last year involved drink-driving, it said, with warnings also given for assaults, breaches of the peace, disorderly behaviour and driving without tax, insurance or a licence.
The reprimands are used for offences that do not warrant being suspended or struck off.
The GMC said it was going to look into the rise, which was partly fuelled by a growing number of referrals from public officials such as NHS staff and police.
A spokesman said it was right to consider cases "where public trust in the profession could be damaged", adding: "The numbers still represent a very small proportion of the 230,000 registered doctors in the UK."Reuse content