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Motoring Offences 

Motoring offences cover a very wide spectrum from regulatory matters through Drink Driving to Dangerous driving causing death. We will touch on some of the more common offences but of course more detailed advice can be obtained from our friendly team at Wallace McNally. 
SPEEDING 
The punishment for an offence of speeding is a fine and 3-6 penalty points or a disqualification from driving depending on the severity of the offence. If you are caught on a speeding camera the registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a Notice of Intended prosecution within 14 days of the offence, the owner then has 28 days to respond with the identity of the driver. Failure to respond can result in the owner committing an offence for which they can be prosecuted, even if they were not the driver of the car at the time of the original offence. 
 
If the speeding is only a little over the speed limit the police may offer the driver the opportunity to complete a Speed Awareness course as opposed to incurring penalty points. You would not have to pay a fine but could have to pay a similar sum in respect of the course fee. 
 
If the speeding is much higher than the speed limit the police may well instigate court proceedings and the driver will face up to 6 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification if the speed really is excessive. If a driver collects 12 penalty points in a three-year period then the court will be obliged to disqualify the driver unless the driver can argue exceptional hardship. This is a legal argument in which we are well practiced at Wallace Mcnally. 
CARELESS/ DANGEROUS DRIVING 
Careless driving is defined as driving that falls below the standard that is expected of a competent and careful driver. 
Careless driving is a matter that can only be dealt with in the Magistrates court and the punishment is 3-9 penalty points or a disqualification, depending on the degree of seriousness. 
 
Dangerous driving is defined as the driving that falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver. Dangerous driving can be dealt with at the Magistrates court or the Crown court and carries up to two years imprisonment. Further, there is a mandatory minimum disqualification of at least 12 months and a requirement to pass an extended re-test at the end of the disqualification period. 
 
PENALTY POINTS AND “TOTTING” 
Most road traffic offences require a driving licence to be endorsed with some penalty points on conviction. There are however certain circumstances when a driver can avoid an endorsement by showing “special reasons” and therefore not have points added to his or her driving licence. This applies in very limited cases but again it is an area with which we are very familiar at Wallace McNally and able to assist the perhaps naïve driver. 
 
If a driver makes it to 12 penalty points in any three-year period they face what is known as a “totting up” disqualification. This disqualification is usually for a minimum period of 6 months and this can have a devastating impact on an individual who needs their licence for work for example. Wallace McNally can advise about certain approaches that allow for a “totting” ban to be reduced or avoided altogether. 
USING MOBILE TELEPHONES 
Most people know that using a mobile phone whilst driving is an offence. However, you don’t have to be making a call to commit the offence, it can be committed by moving, holding or turning on the mobile. Equally the police can use mobile phone records after an accident to identify if anyone was using one shortly before the incident. The offence of using a mobile phone carries 6 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification, as well as a financial penalty. 
 
 
FAILING TO WEAR A SEAT BELT 
Experience tells us that this offence is usually the one that most readily attracts the attention of the police who then go on to stop and question drivers. It applies to all adults and children under 14 years of age. It is easily avoided but if prosecuted and convicted can result in a financial penalty. 
 
DEFECTIVE VEHICLES 
Using a vehicle that is deemed to be dangerous in its condition can result in a fine, penalty points or ultimately a disqualification. The fine can be increased if the vehicle is a large goods or passenger vehicle. More minor defects are usually dealt with by way of a vehicle rectification notice giving the driver the opportunity to correct the defect and proving the remedial work has been carried out. 
 
NO MOT 
You may only drive a vehicle without an MOT if you are driving the vehicle to a pre-booked test or to a garage for MOT related repairs. If this is not the case you could be fined and you could find out that the vehicles Insurance is also void adding considerably to your problems. 
ALCOHOL 
This is a very complex area of law that has been litigated for years by everyone from MP’s to Footballers and there is a wealth of case law that covers this area. We would always advise you seek legal advice concerning these charges even if it is going to be admitted to ensure you present the best possible mitigation. We can advise you on any possible defences and in certain circumstances we can attempt to persuade the bench not to disqualify you at all. 
 
The current Alcohol limits are; 
35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath 
80 milligrammes of alcohol 100 millilitres of blood 
107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine 
The police will usually carry out a roadside breath test and if the limit has been exceeded an arrest will be made to allow for an evidential reading to be taken at the police station. The police have a very strict procedure to follow and again this is an area where expert legal advice can assist a person who is probably unfamiliar with the operation of the law. 
 
If convicted of excess alcohol the maximum sentence is one of 6 months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a mandatory disqualification from driving for at least 12months. This can be reduced to 9 months if given the opportunity to complete a driver rehabilitation course, about which we can advise you further. If you are unfortunate to be convicted twice within ten years of an alcohol related offence the minimum disqualification is increased to 3 years. 
If you fail to comply with the request by the police for a sample you can be prosecuted for failing or refusing to provide a sample and this carries a mandatory disqualification also of 12 months with a recommended starting point much higher. 
 
DRUGS 
There are similar limits for the testing of drivers who are suspected of driving whilst over the limit for certain drugs. Drugs are tested for by taking blood and having it examined by a forensic scientist, this usually takes some time and you will be released from the police station whilst the sample is analysed. 
CARELESS/ DANGEROUS DRIVING 
Careless driving is defined as driving that falls below the standard that is expected of a competent and careful driver. 
Careless driving is a matter that can only be dealt with in the Magistrates court and the punishment is 3-9 penalty points or a disqualification, depending on the degree of seriousness. 
 
Dangerous driving is defined as the driving that falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver. Dangerous driving can be dealt with at the Magistrates court or the Crown court and carries up to two years imprisonment. Further, there is a mandatory minimum disqualification of at least 12 months and a requirement to pass an extended re-test at the end of the disqualification period. 
 
PENALTY POINTS AND “TOTTING” 
Most road traffic offences require a driving licence to be endorsed with some penalty points on conviction. There are however certain circumstances when a driver can avoid an endorsement by showing “special reasons” and therefore not have points added to his or her driving licence. This applies in very limited cases but again it is an area with which we are very familiar at Wallace McNally and able to assist the perhaps naïve driver. 
 
If a driver makes it to 12 penalty points in any three-year period they face what is known as a “totting up” disqualification. This disqualification is usually for a minimum period of 6 months and this can have a devastating impact on an individual who needs their licence for work for example. Wallace McNally can advise about certain approaches that allow for a “totting” ban to be reduced or avoided altogether. 
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