Most driving offences are normally punished by penalty points and a fine, but some are so serious that, if they are committed, you will be banned from driving altogether.
There are different types of driving bans: one is a discretionary ban where the Court decides that, in this instance, points and a fine aren’t adequate; and the other is a mandatory ban. This is when the offence is so serious it carries a ban no matter what.
A mandatory ban is issued if you commit the most serious of offences, such as:
• Driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs
• Failing to provide a specimen – although the court could impose as little as 10 points for this offence as an alternative to the ban.
A ban is also usually imposed once a driver reaches 12 penalty points under the totting up process.
The Court has discretion over the length of the ban and it differs depending on the seriousness of the offence.
Drink Driving Bans
The length of disqualification for drink driving depends on the exact circumstances and the alcohol reading. Bans start from 12 months and go up with the level of alcohol from the breath, blood or urine test. If you do not give a specimen when arrested on suspicion of drink driving then the minimum ban is usually more likely to be around 18 months.
There is no maximum length of ban, but the most serious cases can result in a prison sentence. The Court would usually consider a custodial sentence when reported alcohol levels are 120mcg breath, 276mg of blood or 367mg of urine. At levels of 90mcg breath, 207mg blood or 275mg urine, community service is an option, as would a curfew order, but at lower levels, the ban could range from 12–36 months.
It is vitally important to instruct a lawyer straight away. A Driving Offence Solicitor can put forward compelling mitigation to ensure that the ban is of an appropriate length. The length of any disqualification is at the discretion of the Court so with a strong plea the length could be reduced. The Court also has the option to reduce the ban by 25% if you attend a drink drive rehabilitation course but this is not automatic. Your lawyer may be able to persuade the Court that this is something they should consider.
If you are facing a driving ban, either through dangerous driving, drink driving or any other offence, our expert team of Driving Offence Solicitors at Slater and Gordon can help. Call us on freephone 0808 175 7998 or contact us online and we will call you.