You will face 5-10 Penalty Points, a possible ban and a fine of up to £5,000 if convicted of this offence. These are the available penalties for failing to stop and report an accident.
If there is an aggravation such as injury or substantial damage to the other vehicle then you can expect the penalties in Scotland for failing to stop and report an accident and to provide driver details to be serious eg a possible ban but more likely to be high end penalty points.
I was dealing with a case in Kirkwall, Orkney yesterday where my client was charged with failing to stop and report an accident that had occurred in a super market car park. It was a low level “dunt” in a car park at very low speed and the Sheriff felt able to deal with the matter by way of 5pp and a £300 fine but things could have been a lot worse.
Section 170(2) of the Road Traffic act 1988 provides that the driver of the motor vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and the identification marks of the vehicle. The duty to stop means to stop sufficiently long enough to exchange the particulars above: Lee v Knapp  3 All ER 961.
Who has “reasonable grounds” you may ask. In my recent case the accused was witnessed by two people in a car park to have reversed into a parked vehicle where the driver was no where to be seen. The driver in fact was in a nearby shop and was blissfully unaware of the damage done to her car. These people had the right to ask for details from my client as they had witnessed the entire event.
You can even be required to provide details when you were NOT involved in the accident. A client recently called me to explain that a vehicle that had overtaken his vehicle subsequently lost control and veered into a motorway barrier. Although not involved in the accident he had witnessed it and some may have said his vehicle had been involved so the advice was tell the police as soon as you can.
If at all unsure then make sure you are NOT charged with this offence by informing the police immediately
Section 170(3) places an obligation on the driver, if he does not give his name and address under subsection (2) above, to report the accident to a police constable or police station as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within 24 hours. The duty to report means “as soon as reasonably practicable”: Bulman v Bennett  RTR. It does not mean the driver has 24 hours within which to report the collision.
If charged with s170 of the Road Traffic Act then you may face penalty points and if you have any points on your licence that are within 3 years of this offence then you may face a “Totting Up Ban”. If so get our FREE ebook to help you avoid a driving ban or call us for a FREE case consultation
If you have been charged with dangerous driving in Scotland what sentence can you expect?
You need to seek immediate legal advice and I would suggest that you get in touch with us immediately.
We specialise in road traffic law and have the level of experience and knowledge that brings the competitive advantage you need when it comes to winning your dangerous driving case. Call us for a free initial case consultation. We can deal with this in our office or in some instances over the phone. Just scan your case papers to us and set up a mutually convenient time to take our call.
We will explain exactly what sentence can be expected if you were to plead guilty. This is not based on some scale or formula but on our personal experience of the Scottish courts.
There are two parts to the illegal act of dangerous driving in Scotland:
Therefore in EVERY allegation of dangerous driving we examine the Crown ca
From The Guardian Newspaper today
A woman from New York state suffers from ‘auto-brewery syndrome’ but blew four times over the limit despite claiming that she ‘never felt tipsy’
Drunken-driving charges against a woman in upstate New York have been dismissed based on an unusual defence: her body is a brewery.
The woman was arrested while driving with a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit. She then discovered she has a rare condition called “auto-brewery syndrome”, in which her digestive system converts ordinary food into alcohol, her lawyer Joseph Marusak said.
The rare condition, also known as gut fermentation syndrome, was first documented in the 1970s in Japan, and both medical and legal experts in the US say it is being raised more frequently in drunken-driving cases as it is becomes more known.
“At first glance, it seems like a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. “But it’s not that easy. Courts tend to be sceptical of such claims. You have to be able to document the syndrome through recognised testing.”
Our own experience with similar claims in Scotland has been that Sheriffs are highly sceptical and the defence needs a raft of supporting expert evidence to establish such a defence. In theory the defence should require to establish this defence on the “balance of probability” however our experience is that Sheriffs will be inclined to dismiss it unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the client suffers from this condition and did not know this prior to driving.
One has to also consider that the court may establish that indeed you do have such a condition and that therefore you will not be found guilty of the offence of drink driving however DVLA shall be informed of the condition and they may decide that your medical condition is such that they require to revoke your licence for life as it will never be clear when you would be in a safe condition to drive.
The condition was first documented in the US by Barbara Cordell of Panola College in Texas, who published a case study in 2013 of a 61-year-old man who had been experiencing episodes of debilitating drunkenness without drinking liquor.
Cordell referred Marusak to Dr Anup Kanodia of Columbus, Ohio, who eventually diagnosed the woman with auto-brewery syndrome and prescribed a low-carbohydrate diet that brought the situation under control. Her case was dismissed on 9 December, leaving her free to drive without restrictions.
During the long wait for an appointment, Marusak arranged to have two nurses and a physician’s assistant monitor his client for a day to document she drank no alcohol, and to take several blood samples for testing.
“At the end of the day, she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.36% without drinking any alcoholic beverages,” Marusak said. He said the woman, who cannot be named for reasons of medical confidentiality, also bought a breath test kit and blew into it every night for 18 days, registering around 0.20% every time.
The legal threshold for drunkenness in New York is 0.08%.
While people in cases described by Cordell sought help because they felt drunk and did not know why, Marusak said that was not true of his client. “She had no idea she had this condition. Never felt tipsy. Nothing,” he said.
I recently represented a young snooker player at Perth Sheriff court regarding a drink drive case. He was unaware that a pint of strong lager had put him over the drink drive limit. It caused me to wonder just how many of us are actually aware of how little alcohol, can put you over the new drink drive limit in Scotland.
That is why I have decided to copy and paste a large part of an article recently published in an English newspaper as I feel that there is a genuine misconception about levels of alcohol consumption that the new drink drive limit should have cleared up. The answer is : Do not drink and drive and be very careful about driving the day following consumption of alcohol.
The newspaper looked at various devices. We have done this ourselves in the past and for what it is worth I use an Alcosense device and have recommended them and provided them to many friends in the past. with NO alcohol in their system before they drive”.
There are many different devices on the market, with prices ranging from £2.99 for the single use breathalysers (French NF approved for use in France, where it is a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser in your car) to £350 ones comparable with those used by police.
And it seems you get what you pay for. The three we tried were:
AL2500 – £39.95 – with an accuracy as a new unit of ±25%.
AL7000 – £89.95 – with a replaceable sensor and a quoted accuracy for a new unit of ±10%.
Platinum Lite – £129.95 – twice as accurate as the AL7000 (±5% accuracy) run on fuel cell technology – the same technology used for police breathalysers.
Even on the most accurate police units there is still an expected margin of error of ±2% in readings.
Basically, the more you pay, the better the sensor – the more accurate the device.
Which emphasises that they should be used to test when alcohol has left your system, NOT whether you are near to the drink-drive limit or safe to drive.
Half a bottle of red wine each, drunk alongside a meal of pizza and sides.
Platinum Lite test 30 minutes after finishing. My reading was 0.2% (English driving limit is 0.8%, Ireland, Scotland and France 0.5%). My friend’s was 0.5%.
Result: Suggesting we were both under the English limit but neither of us would have dreamed of or felt capable of driving.
Morning-after result: Zero
Half a bottle of red wine each, drunk on an empty stomach before eating nibbles. Tested 30 minutes later.
Platinum Lite: 0.31% and 0.47%
AL2500: 0.4% and 0.6%
AL7000: 0.19mg/l and 0.3mg/l (English limit is 0.35mg/l, Scotland etc 0.22mg/l)
Result: Illustrates how the results can vary per unit.
Morning-after result: Zero.
One large glass of wine each (250ml) on an empty stomach, no food. Tested at least an hour after finishing.
Platinum Lite: 0.44% and 0.53%
AL2500: 0.5% and 0.5%
Result: Illustrates how food can affect alcohol absorption and how large wine glasses in pubs are!
Morning-after result: Zero.
Half a bottle of wine each, plus nibbles
Platinum Lite: 0.46% and 0.66%
AL7000: 0.27mg/l and 0.41mg/l
Result: Compared to test two, with almost identical consumption and delay before testing, results can vary so much. Plus results between machines vary, with my friend “under” the limit on the Lite, but over on the AL7000.
Morning-after result: Zero.
Six single gin and tonics, plus one glass of white wine (just me – Christmas party!) and tested the morning-after…
Platinum Lite: 0.26%
Result: Still quite a bit of alcohol in my system and it surprised me how much seven hours after stopping drinking – more than test one and almost as much as test two, which were tested 30 minutes after stopping drinking.
In all the tests except for the last one, morning-after readings were down to zero, but after at least eight hours of not drinking.
However, morning-after tests can be carried out just a few hours after some people stop drinking, if they continue into the early hours, so I did tests four hours later and found alcohol was still in our system on all tests except the first.
The single-use breathalyser – blowing into a bag with somewhat odd-looking cartoon drawings on it – was, I have to say, not easy to determine. Perhaps a higher alcohol reading would be made it clearer – but that’s not really the point!
The results were quite scary, particularly when they suggested we were below the limit but neither of us would have dreamed of or felt capable of driving.
And that begs the question as to whether the drink-drive limit is too high in England as no matter what people say, alcohol does impair driving.
And it seems I am not alone.
Almost 70 per cent of people would like to see the legal drink-drive limit reduced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to the same level of that implemented in Scotland, according to a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Within a year of Scotland reducing their limit, Police Scotland confirmed they saw a 19 per cent reduction in drivers prosecuted for being under the influence of alcohol over the festive period.
The Department for Transport’s latest THINK! Drink Drive campaign, launched this month, states that “A second drink could double your chance of being in a fatal collision”, leading to calls for drivers to be aware of their alcohol levels the morning after drinking and not just immediately after.
Suzannah Robin, alcohol safety expert and Sales & Training Manager at AlcoDigital, said: “We fully support the latest THINK! Drink Drive campaign and it is absolutely right people should be thinking about the consequences of drinking and driving and the significant difference on safety that two drinks can have versus one.
“However, they also need to consider that even if they don’t drink and drive immediately after consuming alcohol, they may still be affected the following morning.
“In the same way that everyone loses weight at different rates, we all process alcohol differently, so if you have been drinking say four or five pints of beer or consumed a bottle of wine during the evening you may not be safe to drive the following morning, even if you think you feel OK.”
For me, even if a breathalyser reading tells you that you are apparently safe to drive as you are under the drink-drive limit, my conclusion is you’re not until it’s on zero!
Products available from www.alcodigital.co.uk
An article in the Guardian today called for the UK Government to adopt the policy implemented by the Scottish Government when it reduced the drink drive limit to 50mg (In line with many other EU countries)making the drink drive limit in Scotland lower than the rest of the UK.
We are all aware that any amount of alcohol increases dangers, but there seems to be evidence that drivers who are just under the current limit are twice as likely to die in a crash compared with those just under the proposed limit of 50mg.
In Scotland, it has been reported that there has been a 5% reduction in reported drink driving offences. It should also be noted that there has been a high degree of concentrated police enforcement in the area of road traffic offences in Scotland, therefore any reduction in those numbers must be a good thing. Publicans, restaurants and clubs such as Golf clubs are anecdotally providing information to the media that their sales figures are down as people change their behaviour therefore the “Zero limit” message seems to have made progress in Scotland.
Where the legal limit has been reduced, there have been significant drops in alcohol-related crashes. Reviews have shown that the move to reduce the limit could save up to 170 lives a year. The adoption of a 50mg limit across Europe has reduced alcohol-related driving death rates by 11.5% among young people aged 18–25.
New research by the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that a further reduction would encourage many motorists not to take the risk of drink-driving at all. Two-thirds of motorists who admit to drink-driving revealed that if the legal limit was lowered any further, they wouldn’t bother drinking as they would be unsure of the correct amount to drink, or the amount they could legally consume would become so low it wouldn’t be worthwhile.
The Guardian have requested comments on their article:-
In light of evidence from across Europe and emerging evidence from Scotland, it is high time that the government took decisive action to protect the safety of drivers across the UK.
Here is a video showing what happens if you are arrested for drink driving in Scotland.