Have you been charged with a road traffic offence?
Losing your driving licence can have significant repercussions for every area of your life. It may place your job at risk or affect your ability to get your children to school or your ability to look after a relative.
Indeed, even the imposition of penalty points on your licence can lead to a significant increase in your insurance premium.
We deal with all types of road traffic offences from simple speeding offences to the most serious offences such as causing death by dangerous driving. We work closely with a whole network of experts who can assist us such as in providing a back calculation to determine your alcohol level or a full reconstruction of an accident.
When you are charged with an offence for which the court is obliged to disqualify you from driving for upon conviction you may be able to persuade the court to disqualify you for a shorter period or not at all if the court thinks fit to do so.
Examples of Special Reasons
Shortness of distance driven
Exceptional Hardship is an argument you can advance when you are charged with an offence for which a discretionary disqualification from driving can be imposed. This often means when you are facing a disqualification under the “Totting Up” penalty points procedure.
What is Exceptional Hardship?
Examples of Exceptional Hardship
Impact upon caring for family members
Prohibit the accessing of medical treatment and or care
Preclude you from carrying out a crucial community role
The “Hip flask” Defence
This is a factual defence which can be advanced where someone is charged with an offence of drink driving or being drunk in charge of a vehicle. It arises when the police believe someone was driving whilst over the limit for alcohol but in fact the alcohol was consumed post driving. This defence can potentially also apply to offences of drug driving if it is argued that the drugs were consumed post driving.
Section 5 Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988 - Driving or being in charge with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit
A person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, or is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in their breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit is guilty of an offence.
In relation to being in charge of a motor vehicle, a person is not guilty if they prove that the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of their driving the vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in their breath, blood or urine exceeded the prescribed limit.
Section 5A RTA 1988 - Driving or being in charge with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit (Drug Driving)
The offence at s. 5A RTA 1988 is driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified controlled drug in the blood or urine in excess of the specified limit for that drug. It is a summary only offence that came into force on 2 March 2015. It brings enforcement of drug driving into line with that of drink driving, by introducing a strict liability offence to avoid the need to prove impairment. It seeks to enable more effective law enforcement to take place, with the aim of improving road safety by deterring potential drug drivers and bringing more drug drivers to justice.
A ‘controlled drug’ is stated at s.11 RTA 1988 to have the meaning given by s.2 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. A “controlled drug” is any substance or product for the time being specified in Part I, II or III of Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Section 5A(1)(b) and (2) RTA 1988 provides for an offence of driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.
Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme
When you are convicted of a driving offence involving alcohol it is usual for the court to give you the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation course that can see your period of disqualification reduced by 25% and cannot equal less than three months. When offering you the opportunity to participate in the course the court will also:
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