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Common Driving Offences in the UK Which Could Lead to a Disqualification
UK motorists can be disqualified from driving for a variety of offences. Some of the offences are so common that they warrant a close inspection. For example, one of the most common driving offences that can lead to disqualification is driving dangerously on public roads or motorways.
The Ministry of Transport believes 5,000 to 15,000 motorists in the UK are disqualified annually for driving dangerously. This offence carries an automatic 12-month disqualification period, possible fines of up £5,000 and possible jail time for serious or habitual offenders.
According to the Ministry of Transport, you could be disqualified for driving dangerously if it can be shown your rate of speed or driving behaviour presented “immediate and grave danger” to those around you. What exactly constitutes “immediate and grave danger” is debated by solicitors, magistrates and judges that try dangerous driving cases in court.
However, it is generally agreed that a driver’s behaviour on the road has to be serious for dangerous driving charges to be laid against motorists because these charges are much harder to prove in court than a careless driving charge.
In addition, drivers can be disqualified, and possibly sent to jail, for dangerous driving if their actions caused bodily harm or property damage to those around them. As a result, judges that hear these cases must weigh the evidence that is presented carefully to determine the severity of the offence in question.
Another common driving offence that can lead to disqualification is habitually using a vehicle without proper insurance cover.
Driving Without Insurance
According to data for the 2012 fiscal year, the Ministry of Transport estimates about 5,000 motorists in the UK were disqualified for habitually driving or using a vehicle that was not properly insured by a third-party car insurance cover underwriter. This number might seem a bit on the low side until you realise most of the drivers that were disqualified for not having proper car insurance cover had 2 or 3 prior convictions for the same offence within a 5 year period.
This offence can lead to disqualification because people that habitually choose not to carry proper car insurance cover on their vehicles pose a great financial risk to those drivers who obey the law - it has been estimated that uninsured drivers account for more than £30 of the cost of each car insurance policy which is paid for by the law abiding majority.
To be fair the UK recognises several special circumstances that could warrant using a vehicle without proper insurance cover. For example, many drivers have successfully argued that they had to use a vehicle that had no insurance cover because they had emergency contingencies that required them to drive the vehicle. in cases like this the motorist would almost certainly be found guilty of the offence of driving without insurance, but the court would be able to show leniency if it was felt that it was justified under the circumstance.
Roughly 80,000 drivers are convicted every year of drink-driving. This is considered to be one of the most serious offences that a motorist can can commit and so penalties can be very heavy. Unless there are very unusual mitigating circumstances, a driver who was over the limit could expect an absolute minimum 12 month ban as well as a fine; but anyone who was three times over the limit could well be assessed for a custodial sentence. Getting caught driving over the limit twice within a 10 year period would usually result in a mandatory minimum three-year ban.
It must be stressed that these are minimum bans; anyone who increased the risks to others by carrying passengers, passing near to a school, driving in a dangerous manner, etc could expect even greater penalties, including the possibility of imprisonment.
It is possible to have a 25% reduction in sentence in exchange for attending a drink rehabilitation course, but the courts do not have to agree to this in every case so anyone who is facing a drink drive charge really needs to get excellent legal advice as quickly as possible.