Driving Offences & Instant Driving Ban
Most driving offences are normally punishable by penalty points and a fine. However, some offences carry a discretionary driving ban whilst the serious offences are punishable by a mandatory disqualification.
In cases where the offence is felt to be so severe that punishment by way of a fine and penalty points is inadequate, the Court can instead impose an instant driving ban. The decision as to when a ban is appropriate is entirely at the discretion of the Court and will depend upon the offence, past record, mitigation and any other issue that the Court believes to be relevant, for example, the likelihood of a further offence occurring. The Court is supplied with guidelines indicating when a fine and penalty points is appropriate/inappropriate but the final decision is with the Court and the discretion available can be quite wide ranging.
The vast majority of endorseable offences also carry a discretionary disqualification. Of these, the most typical are:
- Careless or inconsiderate driving
- Failing to stop or report after an accident
- Driving when disqualified
- Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds
- Driving without insurance
- Driving otherwise than in accordance with a driving licence
- Speeding offences
- Traffic light offences
- Failing to identify a driver
When the offence is so serious that penalty points would clearly be inadequate, the Court must impose a ban if the Defendant is found guilty. In such circumstances, the Court's discretion is limited to the duration of the ban.
A mandatory ban will be imposed for any offence that is progressed by way of a Charge as opposed to a Summons. These are the most serious type of driving offences, such as:
- Dangerous driving
- Causing death by dangerous driving
- Drink driving or driving whilst unfit through drink/drugs
- Failing to provide a specimen
Additionally, a ban should also be imposed if the Defendant reaches 12 penalty points within a three year period by way of the totting up process.