Motor Offences - Keep Your Licence

We are highly skilled solicitors, specialising in representing our clients against various motor offences. Our expert solicitor, Andrew Murray, has years of knowledge and experience in representing clients in Court and can help you to keep your licence.

Drink Driving Penalties

Drink driving has become one of the most serious criminal offences with drink driving penalties costing the UK population thousands of pounds.

The offence itself carries a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months and the disqualification can be higher depending on the amount of alcohol in a motorist’s system. Repeat offenders can be ordered to carry out unpaid community work or end up in prison.

In many cases, the drink driving penalties incurred do result in loss of employment and loss of income, if not loss of income altogether.

The Morning After

Many people drive to a venue and leave their car with the intention of collecting it the following day. However, motorists need to be aware of the elimination of alcohol in their system. From time to time, police target certain venues and wait for motorists to return to their cars the following day.

However, it is very difficult to work out the elimination rate of alcohol as there are many factors to consider such as height, weight and the type of alcohol consumed.

The legal drink drive limit in the UK is 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body. 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath.

At the Police Station

It is an offence to refuse to provide a specimen of blood, breath or urine for analysis. The police use the breathalyser system, however, if this doesn’t work they can ask a motorist to undergo a blood or urine test which is carried out by a doctor.

If you refuse to undergo a test, there would have to be a reasonable excuse. If you were found guilty for failure to provide a sample, you would receive a disqualification which may be significantly longer than that where a reading has been obtained and shows that a driver is over the limit. If a Defendant pleads not guilty to drink driving or has issues with elimination, expert evidence may be required which will be costly.

If a Defendant pleads guilty to drink driving or fails to provide a specimen for analysis, provided the disqualification period is less than 2 years, the Defendant cannot apply to the Court for earlier return of their driving licence. The Court will offer the Defendant a course and if they complete it successfully within the set time limit, this could help reduce the length of disqualification by 25%.

Drug Driving Penalties

New drug driving legislation was introduced back in March 2015 and makes it illegal for motorists in the UK to drive with certain drugs in their system above specified levels. There is a total of 16 drugs on the list, namely:-

Clonazepam                                      Benzoylecogonine

Diazepam                                          Cocaine

Flunitrazepam                                   Cannabis or Cannabinol

Lorazepam                                        Ketamine

Methadone                                        LSD

Morphine                                           Crystal Meth or Ice

Oxazepam                                         MDMA – Ecstasy

Temazepam                                      Heroin and Diamorphine

Section 11 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a drug includes any intoxicant other than alcohol. This is likely to mean any substance that affects the self-control of the body.

The law makes it much easier for police to catch a drug driver as they now have improved testing equipment such as roadside saliva tests which work in the same way as breathalysers. The roadside saliva tests give a pass or fail reading.

If you provide a positive roadside saliva test, you will be taken to the Police Station where you will have to provide a blood sample as evidence. If you are taking prescription drugs, as advised by your GP, you have the right to raise a “statutory defence” at any stage. However, you will have to provide reasonable proof of this in order to avoid being arrested or asked to provide a blood test.

Drug driving penalties are complex and it is advised that you obtain specialist advice from a highly experienced Solicitor. Our expert Solicitor, Andrew Murray, has years of experience in representing clients in Court and will advise you on the options available.

Mobile Phone Penalties

Driving whilst using a mobile phone carries a penalty of up to £1,000 and 6 points on your licence. Even using a hands free system still distracts motorists from driving and there are measures being put in place not to allow the system to be used in motor vehicles in the future.

This law still applies if you are:-

  • Stopped at traffic lights
  • Queuing in traffic
  • Supervising a learner driver

A Judge can ban you from driving – if you have passed your test in the last 2 years, you will lose your licence.

The consequences of using a mobile phone whilst driving can be fatal. If you are responsible for an accident, you could be prosecuted and sent to prison. The police may check your phone records to determine whether use of a phone contributed to the accident. There are certain exemptions and it is always better to seek advice from a specialist solicitor.

Speeding Fines

With so many hidden cameras and average speed limits on UK roads, it is more and more likely that a motorist will be caught for speeding and issued with a speeding ticket, with the minimum penalty being £100 and 3 points on their licence. Almost without knowing, motorists can find themselves with 9 points in a short period of time. This is significant as if a motorist builds up 12 or more penalty points on their licence within a period of 3 years, this will lead to automatic disqualification of at least 6 months under what is known as the “totting up” procedure.

It is possible to avoid disqualification in such circumstances such as “exceptional hardship”. This could include loss of employment and/or exceptional hardship for other members of the family. For example, if the family member regularly drives a disabled person to appointments etc, it may be necessary to find another family member to help in that situation.

Failing to Provide Details Leading to the Identity of the Driver of a Motor Vehicle – Section 172 Notice

With the advent of increased digitalisation and use of cameras, many people are photographed committing motoring offences but can only be identified by the registration number.

If a vehicle is identified as committing an offence, the police will write to the registered keeper recorded at the DVLA for the details. If the information is not provided, the motorist risks incurring a penalty of 6 points on their licence and a fine. Some motorists decide to take the points for somebody else which could be taking the points for their spouse, a boss or director of the company where they are employed.

These are extremely serious matters and if prosecuted could be termed as “perjury”, ie lying to the Court. If proven, the offence will lead to a custodial sentence. A motorist might think they are being clever by persuading somebody else to say they were driving the vehicle, however this is both illegal and courting a risk of imprisonment.

Drunk in Charge of a Motor Vehicle

Motorists who sleep or sit in their car whilst under the influence of alcohol have found themselves facing serious penalties even though they haven’t driven or attempted to drive.

If found guilty, you will receive a criminal record and the Court may enforce a penalty of 10 points and a driving disqualification. In addition, a fine of £2,500 could be imposed or a range of options such as community service or a prison sentence of up to 3 months.

Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states:

“The defendant must prove that it was more likely than not that he had no intention of driving whilst the level of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine remained above the prescribed limit in which case, he is not considered to be in charge”.

These are complex situations and specialist legal advice is required. Talk to our expert solicitor, Andrew Murray on 0161 785 3500 or email andrew.murray@pearsonlegal.co.uk.

Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance is considered to be one of the most serious offences. Third party insurance is compulsory and if you are caught by the police, they will issue a fixed penalty of 6 points and a £300 fine. However, if the case is referred to Court, further points or a disqualification will be given.

 

As with all motor offences, seeking specialist legal advice is paramount. Our expert Solicitor, Andrew Murray, has years of experience in representing clients in Court. If you find yourself in a situation, call Andrew on 0161 785 3500 or email andrew.murray@pearsonlegal.c.o.uk.