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Shortness of distance driven avoids drink driving ban

shortness of distance driven special reasons
Newark crime solicitor Ian Carter

Newark criminal solicitor Ian Carter recently represented a client at a special reasons hearing.  The hearing was successful.  His client avoided the usual driving disqualification owing to the shortness of distance driven.

There are very limited circumstances in which a driving disqualification can be avoided for an offence of drink driving.  You might be able to do so if you can show that ‘special reasons’ exist that allow the Magistrates’ to use their discretion not to impose a driving ban.

Factors for a successful Special Reasons argument

In deciding on such an argument, the court will look at the following factors that relate to the offence:

  • How the vehicle was driven
  • The manner I which it was driven
  • The state of the vehicle
  • Whether the driver intended to drive any further
  • The prevailing road and traffic conditions at the time
  • Whether there is any possibility of danger by coming into contact with other road users
  • The reason for the vehicle being driven in the first place

You will see that these factors do not relate to the personal circumstances of the offender.

Shortness of Distance Driven

In this case, Ian argued on behalf of his client that a special reason existed owing to the shortness of distance driven.  His client had been seen moving a van that had been parked on The Wharf in Newark from a roadside parking bay across to a car park.

The distance involved was no more than 30 yards.

As Ian is based in Newark he was able to visit the scene without difficulty.  He was also able to speak with a local traffic warden and discuss how the parking in that area was policed.  This was information that was used at the final hearing.

Ian’s client gave evidence to the court that she had moved the vehicle in the early hours to avoid receiving a parking ticket.  Her intention was to collect the vehicle the next day.  Our client’s partner also gave evidence in support of this account.  The agreed police evidence showed the shortness of distance driven and that the journey was concluded.

Ian was able to use court room technology to show the Magistrates’ the area using Google Maps and Street View.  This allowed the court to properly understand that the risks involved in moving the van were low.

Special Reasons found, driving ban avoided

The Magistrates found that there were special reasons not to disqualify.  The evidence given was credible and established the shortness of distance driven.  There was no  bad driving.  Due to the time there were no pedestrians or other vehicles.  This meant there was little risk to others.  The Magistrates were sure that there was no intention to drive further until the following day.  Ian’s client would have been under the legal limit to drive when she collected the vehicle.

As a result, although she was fined, Ian’s client did not receive a driving ban.  If you are due before the court for an offence that could lead to a disqualification then it will help to instruct a solicitor.  You may be entitled to free legal aid for your representation or be able to take advantage of an affordable fixed fee.

Contact a Newark Criminal Solicitor for Newark cases

If you are being investigated by the police or face court proceedings then please contact Newark criminal defence lawyer Ian Carter on  or email him here.

If you face police investigation or criminal proceedings elsewhere then you can find your local office here.