Special Reasons not to endorse or Disqualify

Drink Driving - Special Reasons

The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, s. 34(1) [1] provides legislation relating to special reasons not to disqualify or to disqualify for shorter period, it states:
(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence involving obligatory disqualification, the court must order him to be disqualified for such period not less than twelve months as the court thinks fit unless the court for special reasons thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified.

In certain circumstances defendants convicted of drink driving offences may be able to have any mandatory period of driving disqualification significantly reduced or totally avoided if 'special reasons' not to endorse or disqualify are successfully established.

Driving licence endorsements & penalty points can also be avoided if special reasons are successfully established.

Special reasons must be put forward by the defence using evidence and may be subject to cross examination and evidence in rebuttal from the prosecution.

When special reasons not to disqualify are successfully established, it is no guarantee that disqualification or endorsement will be avoided. It remains at the sentencing courts discretion whether or not the special reasons put forward make it proper not to disqualify or endorse.

FREE Legal Advice

Arguing that any period of disqualification imposed will cause extreme hardship to an offender or their family WILL NOT amount to a special reason.


What are special reasons?

Special reasons must relate to the commission of the drink driving offence in question and in order to constitute a special reason the Court of Appeal has established that any matter put forward as a special reason not to endorse or disqualify must:

  • be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
  • not amount in law to a defence to the drink driving charge;
  • be directly connected to the commission of the drink driving offence;
  • be one which a court of law ought to properly take into consideration when considering what sentence to impose.

What must the court consider?

When special reasons are put forward in drink driving cases the sentencing court must consider the following factors:

  • the reason for driving the motor vehicle;
  • the distance the motor vehicle was driven;
  • the manner in which the motor vehicle was driven;
  • the condition of the motor vehicle which was driven;
  • whether or not it was the drivers intention to drive the motor vehicle further;
  • the road and traffic conditions at the time the offence took place; and
  • the possibility of danger to other road users at the time (most important factor)

Possible Special Reasons

  • Very short distance driven (moving car a few yards to safety)
  • Driving due to an emergency (medical or otherwise)
  • A drivers drink being laced or spiked without their knowledge

The onus of establishing special reasons is on the defence/defendant.


Establishing special reasons is a complicated and technical area of law where there is a great deal of case law available as to what amounts to special reasons. It is advisable to take advice and counsel from a solicitor advocate who specialises in drink driving and motoring law in order to establish if arguing special reasons is plausible.

FREE Legal Advice

Reference:

[1] The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988




Special Reason Cases - In the News


Frankel jockey Tom Queally admits drink driving but claimed he was ... - Mirror.co.uk


Mirror.co.uk

Frankel jockey Tom Queally admits drink driving but claimed he was ...
Mirror.co.uk
A top flat racing jockey has been banned from the roads after claiming he was SLEEPWALKING while drink driving. Pint-sized Tom Queally was more than double the limit after being found asleep behind the wheel of his BMW, Crewe Magistrates' Court heard ...
Newmarket Jockey Caught Drink Driving Claims He Was Driving In His SleepHeart
Frankel jockey Tom Queally, of Newmarket, claims he was sleep-walking when ...Cambridge News
Ban for 'sleep driving' jockeyLancashire Evening Post

all 41 news articles »
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:14:59 GMT




Celebrity motoring lawyer criticises drink-drive limits - Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk

Celebrity motoring lawyer criticises drink-drive limits
Telegraph.co.uk
A motoring lawyer who's become renowned for getting his clients off the hook by exploiting loopholes in the law has launched a scathing attack on the Government's current drink-drive limits, despite suggesting ways in which one can defend against ...

and more »
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:29:49 GMT




Motorist claims "special reasons" for drink driving - East Grinstead Courier


East Grinstead Courier

Motorist claims "special reasons" for drink driving
East Grinstead Courier
A MOTORIST claims he has "special reasons" as to why he was drink-driving in East Grinstead. Leslie Miller was arrested in London Road and charged with the offence on May 3, having given a breath test recording of 43 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ...

Fri, 30 May 2014 17:52:39 GMT




'Special reasons' for drink -driving - Marlborough Express


'Special reasons' for drink -driving
Marlborough Express
A Palmerston North man caught drink-driving for the second time is trying to avoid being disqualified from driving, with his lawyer arguing there were special reasons why the man had an alcohol level two times the legal limit. In the Palmerston North ...

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:35:30 GMT




Teenage sports star convicted of drink driving - East Grinstead Courier


East Grinstead Courier

Teenage sports star convicted of drink driving
East Grinstead Courier
Joe Palmer was found to be almost twice the legal limit when he was arrested shortly after leaving Poison IV nightclub, in East Grinstead, in the early hours of Saturday, September 13. The 19-year-old, of Newchapel Road, Lingfield, who represented his ...

and more »
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 05:42:58 GMT




Cheap Convicted Driver Insurance Quotes