Drink Driving Campaign which we blogged about last month has seen 140 Motorists charged with driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs since Police Scotland’s Summer Crackdown began at the beginning of the month. Please take the time to read about this latest announcement here:
Summer Drink Driving Campaign Update
Police Scotland’s summer drink driving campaign is less than two weeks old and already an alarming number of motorists have been stopped for offences. Out of the 140 motorists charged with an offence 125 people fail alcohol tests, two motorists were caught driving under the influence of drugs and a further 13 drivers were judged unfit to drive by police officers due to the effect of drink or drugs, without the need for a test. Police stressed yesterday that they all motorists charged with a drink driving offence face losing their licences for a minimum of 12 months as they seek to send out a message to a hardcore of persistent offenders who continue to flout drink driving laws.
The Drink Driving Campaign urges members of the public to do their part in tackling drink drivers through the country. Inspector Ian Martin, of the Police Scotland trunk road patrol group, said: ”I would urge everyone to continue providing the police with information so that we can detect drink and drug drivers and place them before the courts at the earliest opportunity.”
Stopped during the Drink Driving Campaign?
Drink driving charges are serious and punishable by a minimum 12 month driving ban, a large fine and in the most serious cases a custodial sentence. It is therefore vitally important that you do not take a chance. In Scotland, 70% of drink driving charges occur from ‘the morning after’ consumption of alcohol. Therefore if you plan to drive you should not drink alcohol in excess the previous evening. The drink driving campaign has already taught a number of people an unforgettable lesson: do not take the chance.
If you have been stopped during the drink driving campaign and charged it is important that you seek immediate expert legal help. To discuss your case with one of our solicitors visit www.roadtrafficlaw.com and fill out the contact form or call 0800 612 9597 to arrange a meeting now.
The penalty points system is an extremely important part of Road Traffic Law. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of motorists do not actually know how the system works, and this lack of an understanding could place a motorists license in danger. The offences for which penalty points may be imposed can be found in Schedule 3 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. We will take a look at the penalty points system below: How many Live points do YOU have?
The Penalty Points System in Scotland
If you have committed an ‘endorsable’ road traffic offence where you have either; accepted the offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), or have been found guilty in court, then you will have your license endorsed with penalty points. The three most common offences under the penalty points system are Speeding, Driving while using a Mobile Phone and Running a Red Light: in most of these charges a motorist will face a 3 Penalty Point endorsement and a 60 pounds fine.
We are often asked by clients how long do these points stay on their license for? Well this must be answered in two ways:
- The Penalty Points are valid from the date of incident and remain live on your license for 3 years.
- However these Penalty Points remain on your license for a total of 4 years. Although the Penalty Points are on your license during that fourth year they are not ‘live’ for the purposes of ‘totting up’.
Once the Penalty Points have been on an individual’s license for 4 years from the date of offence then they may apply to the DVLA to have these points removed from their license.
Now you understand the Penalty Points System, What Now?
It is important that any motorist on the road knows exactly how many points they have on their license, both ‘Live’ and otherwise. Penalty Point convictions must be disclosed to insurance companies (failure to do so can invalidate your policy – just when you really need it!) or you could well be just one ‘minor’ road traffic conviction away from losing your drivers license!
If you have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, and are unsure where you stand: try to use our easy guide to work out the penalty points system and status of your license. If you are facing a Fixed Penalty then contact us for a Free Case Consultation: we can evaluate the merits of your case and see if you have a justifiable defence open to you. Visit www.roadtrafficlaw.com and fill out the contact form, or call 0800 612 9597 to speak to a member of the team now.
Dangerous driving in Scotland can have potentially devastating effects and we would urge all our readers to drive safely at all times. Although it is a very serious charge, where a conviction could result in a custodial sentence: it has a very high threshold and it is up to the Courts to decide what does and does not constitute dangerous driving. We will take a look at this below:
What IS Dangerous Driving?
Using a mobile phone while driving is NOT classified as driving dangerously unless the manner of driving is ALSO dangerous. As for speeding, only GROSSLY EXCESSIVE speeds, in our view, meet the legal definition of dangerous driving in Scotland, unless there are additional factors (such as tailgating or undertaking) or aggravating factors such as very poor weather conditions.
Whether a driver is driving dangerously is a combined matter of fact and law. It is for the courts – not the police – to determine whether the high threshold for dangerous driving in Scotland, as defined by section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, has been met. Dangerous driving carries a minimum mandatory penalty of 12 months disqualification and an order to pass an extended driving test therefore it is clearly regarded by the courts as one of the more important and serious charges relating to road traffic matters. Please note that this is the MINIMUM penalty and often cases are dealt with by way of longer periods of disqualification.
Dangerous Driving Charges: What now?
Dangerous driving in Scotland is a very serious charge which carries penalties befitting the crime. A conviction carries with it a mandatory minimum one year ban from driving and, in extreme cases, can lead to custodial sentences.
Our advice to drivers is, as always, drive safely. However if you are charged with ANY road traffic offence in Scotland, you will need legal advice as a matter of urgency and should contact us on 0800 612 9597.
As many of you may know, being pulled over and stopped by police can be a fairly daunting and unnerving episode. Here are c couple of things to remember to help you handle the situation in the best manner and help improve your chances of defending your case.
How to deal with being Stopped by Police:
- We know it can be infuriating: However if stopped by police it is important to stay calm. DO NOT be Rude, Aggressive or Angry to the police officers: this will alert the police to remember who you are and the details of your charge at a later date
- Co-operate fully with the police: The officers are perfectly entitled to ask your Name, Address, M.O.T and Insurance information if stopped by police. Respond to each of these requests as it would be counterproductive not to do so.
- Do not request the documentation from Police regarding Calibration Certificates, Certificates of Authenticity, Speed Camera Accuracy etc: this will be dealt with at Trial. Instead, when you stopped by police you will probably be shown a speed gun or Video footage when in the car: If possible take a note of the name of the equipment which is used. There are a variety of Speed Guns used by the police and identifying the type of gun early can be of great use in winning your case.
- Obtain Video Evidence: This if often overlooked, however if stopped by police you are perfectly entitled to record a video, however do so subtly nobody likes a video thrust into their faces while trying to do their jobs! If the officer says that you cannot film them, simply state that ”you are videoing the incident so that you are able to rely on it at a later stage” Aspects such as 1.Weather Conditions, 2.Traffic Flow, 3.The Police’s position in relation to your car can all be useful in backing up YOUR version of events.
Stopped By Police: What Now?
If you have been stopped by police and believe that you are not guilty of the charges placed before you then it is important that you fight your case and defend yourself. If you find yourself in this position then there is no benefit to you by becoming confrontational: be aware, and look for information which can prove your innocence. It is important to contact a specialist solicitor for advice, most good solicitors should offer a free case consultation in order to help evaluate your options: to contact Graham Walker and the Road Traffic Law team fill out the online form at www.roadtrafficlaw.com, or Call now for your FREE consultation.
The use of a mobile phone while driving is one of the 3 most common road traffic law offences in Scotland. Many of the country’s motorists have a dismissive attitude to such an offence, refusing to acknowledge the dangers which can arrive if they talk/text while driving. As stated in this Blog before, studies show that using a mobile phone while driving can be just as, if not more, distracting than low level drink driving can be! In light of this, the penalty of mobile phone fines are being proposed for an increase.
Mobile Phone Fines to Increase by 50%
Following on from last months story regarding the recommendation that the use of a mobile phone while driving should be increased from 3 to 6 penalty points, an announcement was made which should see the monetary penalty for mobile phone use rise. The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced that under new plans using a mobile phone behind the wheel is set to rise by 50% fromÂ£60 toÂ£90. In the 10 years since the specific use of a mobile phone while driving was implemented over One Million motorists have been punished in the UK. Once introduced in 2003, the fine was set atÂ£30, however the mobile phone fines were seen increased toÂ£60 by February 2007 and the Government clearly sees reason to add an increased monetary punishment as a warning to motorists. The proposals state that the Penalty Points will be set at 3, however this may be reviewed in due course.
Mobile Phone Fines: What to do?
For many of our clients in these cases, a relatively small fine is not the issue. A mobile phone fines will see your license endorsed with 3 penalty points: often resulting in a ‘totting up ban’. Though the use of mobile phones is extremely distracting, many innocent drivers can and will be stopped by the police and charged with drive while using a mobile phone.
If you believe you have been issued with a mobile phone fines and are not guilty of the offence then contact Graham Walker and the Road Traffic Law team via the online form at www.roadtrafficlaw.com, or Call now for a FREE consultation