Penalties for Drink Driving

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Alcohol Related Offences

Most alcohol related offences carry obligatory disqualification with the only exceptions being “in-charge” offences for which penalty points may sometimes be an option. The starting point for the disqualification is 12 months however this may be increased depending upon your alcohol level or if you are a repeat offender. Most repeat offenders will face a minimum disqualification of 3 years unless their most recent, previous offence was more than 10 years ago.

If you are charged with any of the following offences you will face a minimum disqualification of 12 months and we would urge you to contact us to discuss the options available to you.

Drink driving Drug Driving / Driving Whilst Unfit Failing to Provide a Specimen

For each of the above offences there are 4 “brackets” of disqualification that you will fall into depending on the seriousness of the offence. For drink driving the “bracket” will increase with high alcohol levels but for the latter two offences the guidelines are not as concise and are open to a little more interpretation by the court.

These brackets are as follows:

  1st offence 2nd offence in 10 years
Bracket 1: 12 – 16 months 36 – 40 months
Bracket 2: 17 – 22 months 36 – 40 months
Bracket 3: 23 – 28 months 36 – 52 months
Bracket 4: 29 – 36 months 36 – 60 months

Speeding

All speeding offences carry penalty points however the courts have discretion to impose a disqualification depending upon the seriousness of the offence. The guidelines in place for the court in respect of speeding offences are:

Speed Limit (mph) Recorded Speed (mph)
20 21 – 30 31 – 40 41 – 50
30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60
40 41 – 55 56 – 65 66 – 75
50 51 – 65 66 – 75 76 – 85
60 61 – 80 81 – 90 91 – 100
70 71 – 90 91 – 100 101 – 110

Points / Disqualification
3 points 4 – 6 points OR disq. 7 – 28 days Disq. 7 – 56 days OR 6 points

As mentioned above, any offence that usually carries penalty points can attract a disqualification instead. If you commit a number of speeding offences within any 3 year period then you will become subject to the totting up provisions and may face a minimum disqualification of 6 months. Further, if you have received discretionary disqualifications

When imposing a penalty, the Court will always consider your driving history and repeat offenders may be subject to more severe penalties.

Other Penalty Points Offences

There are several other offences that can attract penalty points (and as such, a possible disqualification) and these include, but are not limited to:

  1. Driving without insurance
  2. Mobile phone offences
  3. Careless Driving
  4. Failing to Stop/Report
  5. Driving Whilst Disqualified (sentencing for this is extremely broad and can include a prison sentence)
  6. Failing to Furnish information

Please review the relevant pages for further information on sentencing for the above offences. 

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