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Three Year Driving Conviction Reduced by Six Months Enabling Driver to Re-Apply for His Licence
Our client had been disqualified from driving for a second drink drive offence within 10 years of the first drink drive conviction. Minimum disqualification was 3 years. Our client had problems with alcohol abuse which had resulted in the offence. He had successfully completed his sentence which included a community penalty, had also undergone rehabilitation and was now wanting to obtain the return of his driving licence from DVLA sooner than the 3 year disqualification.
The 3 years disqualification was the minimum imposed because of the previous drink drive conviction and therefore any reduction in the disqualification would bring him below the "minimum imposed by law".
It is open to apply for the return of a driving licence after 2 years of disqualification. Our client had made a good recovery and was holding down his job but needed to have the return of his licence so that he could improve his prospects with this employer who was expanding. Our client had ongoing treatment at hospital and required the use of a car for convenience, to go to appointments and also facilitate his contact with his daughter to his estranged partner. An application was made to the Court, appropriate evidence obtained from his employer, GP and other rehabilitation providers. The Court agreed to the application whilst noting the seriousness of the offence. They acknowledged the efforts that our client had made in dealing with his alcohol abuse and reduced the disqualification period by 6 months, allowing our client to reapply for his licence to the DVLA almost immediately. Our client was, therefore, able to secure his employment position, income, maintain his relationship with his teenage daughter, have less time away from work and home and attend further hospital appointments.
Case Dismissed Due to Error Made by the Prosecution
Our client had received a visit from the Bailiff informing him that he had been fined and ordered to pay Court costs and a Victim Surcharge totalling £881 in respect of his failing to provide the identity of the driver of a vehicle, of which it was shown that he was the registered keeper.
Our client did not own the car which was the subject of the request. We contacted the Court on our client's behalf and arranged for the case to be re-opened under what is known as a Section 142 Procedure. We wrote to the Prosecution who confirmed that an error had taken place and that if the Court agreed to re-open the case, they would offer no evidence.
We dealt with all correspondence and thereafter attending at Court to make the application. The application was successful enabling all enforcement procedures to be dropped. There were no points endorsed on our client's licence. A defence costs order was made from Central Funds and our client's driving record remains intact.
Moral of the Case
The Police send out requests to identify the driver of a vehicle where an offence has been committed and they have the number plate of the vehicle. Some people put malicious details on the form, as a result of which that person is summoned. The Summons may go to an incorrect address and the person would never know of the existence of the Summons, therefore the case could be proved in absence, as in the present case.
The important thing is not to panic but to take advice as the matter can be looked at and taken back to Court and, in this case, dismissed.