Drink Driving Bans (Disqualification)

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The most concerning consequence of a motoring conviction is the possibility of disqualification. Most of us rely upon or vehicles to get from A to B but for the majority of our clients, driving is an essential component to their everyday life.

We represent professionals who are entirely dependent upon their ability to travel and carers or those suffering with a disability who cannot go without their car for essential transportation.

There are a range of motoring offences that carry a disqualification from driving and hopefully this page can provide you with the information you need to better help you decide how to proceed. You can also view our penalty calculators to help assess whether you are at risk of disqualification and the length or ban you can expect.

If a disqualification of more than 2 years has been imposed, there are instances where you can apply to have your licence back early so please contact us to discuss and for more information click here.

Obligatory & Discretionary

Disqualifications can be categorised into two groups: “obligatory” or “discretionary” and this is largely dependent on the type of offence you are alleged to have committed.

Obligatory disqualifications are those that are demanded by law whilst discretionary are for offences that allow the court to impose a ban if it feels it is necessary.

Obligatory disqualifications for motoring offence usually have a starting point of 12 months the minimum period is increased where there are relevant, previous disqualifications. Obligatory disqualifications cannot be avoided unless you are able to defend the allegation successfully or a special reason applies.

Discretionary disqualifications are those that can be affected by mitigation and the court should consider your personal circumstances before determining the length of disqualification. In UK law, any offence that attracts penalty points can attract a discretionary disqualification instead however the court tends to follow the sentencing guidelines unless sufficient mitigation persuades them to do otherwise.

With a discretionary disqualification, if the number of penalty points to be taken into account number 12 or more then you become subject to the totting up provisions and would face a disqualification of 6 months. This is most worrying to drivers who may have committed a few minor offences and suddenly find themselves facing a significant disqualification .

The court also have the power to impose extended retests for a driver can hold a licence following a disqualification. Whilst this power is available for any offence, it is usually reserved for the more serious offences involving dangerous driving.

Dangerous Driving or Cases Involving a Death

These are the most serious offences under the Road Traffic Act and this is reflected in their penalties. Unlike most others, these offences can be dealt with in the Crown Court and can attract a prison sentence. If you are charged with one of these offences we would urge you to contact us immediately as it is important you obtain advice as early as possible to help avoid severe consequences.

For any case involving dangerous driving the Magistrates’ can disqualify you for between 12 months and 2 years and order you to complete an extended retest before you are able to hold a license again. They are also able to impose a custodial penalty of up to 6 months.

If the case is passed to the Crown Court then sentencing may be significantly more severe so please contact us to discuss.

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