I was caught by the Police driving without supervision on a provisional licence. What penalty do I face?
The normal allegation would be driving “otherwise in accordance with your licene” (offence code LC20) which is punishable with 3-6 penalty points and a fine. However, this offence would also mean that any insurance in place would be automatically void. Consequently, the Police will probably prosecute for that offence as well which carries 6-8 points and a fine. Individually, or combined, these offences could result in a discretionary disqualification.
I was banned for 12 months for dangerous driving. Do I have to apply to the DVLA for a provisional licence?
Your licence will have been revoked by this punishment. As a result, you need to apply for a new driving licence. As you were also ordered to re-take a driving test, you should apply for a provisional licence, but indicate to the DVLA that you need to take the extended test.
I have been banned from driving in the UK, but my job is taking me into Europe am I am taking a driving test in my new country of residence. If I return home to visit during the term of my UK ban, will I be able to drive on my new European licence?
Unfortunately, your non UK licence will not be valid in the UK whilst the driving ban is in effect. The ban overrules any entitlement that you may have to drive as a “visitor”.
I was stopped by the police on the motorway for speeding over 100 mph. I was given a producer and told I would receive a Court Summons in due course but it has now been over 2 months since the incident and I’ve not heard anything. Should I chase the Police? Is it possible that the Police Officer has decided not to process the paperwork? He told me I faced a driving ban and that I would have to go to Court. How long does it normally take for the Police to contact you?
The Police have 6 months to commence proceedings and do not have to contact you at any stage before then. In our experience, many forces diary cases for 5 months and 2 weeks, so the lack of progress at this stage does not suggest that they will not proceed. There is no point contacting the Police; it will only prompt them into life. If you do nothing, there is a slight chance that they will fail to progress the case in time.
I face a totting up ban and I have been given the option of pleading guilty by post so the case can be heard in my absence. I would prefer this option, especially as I’m likely to be banned and therefore do not want the expense of taking time off work, travel, hotel bills etc. Are the Magistrates likely to be any more severe in terms of the punishment imposed if I take this option rather than if I attended court in person?
In theory, you can plead guilty by post. However, most Courts will then adjourn the case to provide you with a further opportunity to attend in person so that you can put forward a submission of exceptional hardship and explain why you should not be banned.
If you are resigned to the fact that a totting up ban is inevitable, and you are prepared to accept this, you should make this clear to the Court, stating that you do not wish to put forward an exceptional hardship plea. There is every prospect that they would then resolve the matter in your absence and there is no reason for the punishment to be any more severe. That said, if the case is still adjourned, and you are told that you must attend, failure to do so could result in a Warrant being issued for your arrest.
Totting Up: Will a delaying tactic prevent a driving ban?
I currently have 9 penalty points on my driving licence and I’ve just received a Fixed Penalty Notice which will bring me to 12 penalty points. If I contest or appeal the Fixed Penalty, by the time the matter goes to Court, the first 3 points on my licence will no longer be valid. Is this a tactic I can use to prevent a totting up ban?
No. If you had 9 points at the time of the offence, the Court is still entitled to impose a totting up ban. The reason that penalty points remain on your driving licence for 4 years but remain only valid for 3 years is in order that the Court is fully aware of the driving history to prevent such a tactic.
I have been disqualified from driving, however can I still supervise a learner/sit next to them whilst they practice?
No. In order to supervise a provisional driver, you must have held a full licence for at least 3 years, the licence must remain valid, and you must be at least 21 years of age, unless you are a member of the armed forces acting in the course of your duties. The 3 year requirement does not apply to the supervision of large goods or passenger carrying vehicle provided the other requirements are met.
I was caught speeding just over 70 mph on a dual carriageway. I did not spot the reduced speed limit in respect of road works as it was late at night and no obvious work was taking place. Will I still be banned as it is usually a 70 mph zone?
If a reduced speed limit is in place, it will be effective regardless of whether work is being carried out or not. The punishment will depend upon the amount of the excess speed and the circumstances at the time of the offence so if you can prove that no other party was affected by the error, the Court may be more lenient than an offence at the same speed if there were workmen in the vicinity.
I was pulled over by the Police and failed a breath test after I ended up behind the wheel whilst under emotional distress. Will I definitely lose my licence from drink driving? If I do lose my licence, I will lose my job and therefore could not meet my financial commitments. Do I have any other options?
The minimum punishment upon conviction is a 12 month ban. Although the Court does have discretion, a ban is for all intents and purposes compulsory. The duration of the disqualification does depend upon the circumstances of the incident and in particular the alcohol reading. At the Court’s discretion, you may be offered the opportunity to attend a drink driving rehabilitation course which once completed, can reduce the period of a ban by 25%. Loss of job is not a reason to justify avoiding disqualification. The stronger the mitigation you put forward, the better your outcome will be.
Driving is a critical part of my job. I can only drive to and from work and my job requires that I travel regularly around the UK to visit customers etc. Is this a strong enough reason to avoid a totting up ban?
The criteria applied by the Court is “exceptional hardship” and it is a common comment that whilst an individual would suffer hardship through the loss of their licence, that hardship is not so exceptional that it justifies avoiding a totting up ban. Loss of job alone does not always amount to exceptional hardship and any attempt to avoid totting up purely on that basis could fail. It can however be used to develop other reasons which combined, do meet the criteria set by the Court.