Dangerous Driving, Dumfries, 24 July 2018, Not Guilty
In this dangerous driving case, our client was alleged to have driven firstly at 108mph with a laser gun then at 120mph with a calibrated speedometer over a total course of 5.5 miles. In doing so he overtook numerous vehicles and was charged with dangerous driving. The latter part of the incident was captured on the police vehicle’s dashcam.
As is often the case, video evidence of this nature can prove to be of assistance. In this case, after analysing the video, it was clear to us that not only was the driving not dangerous but also that the police were actually gaining on our client for the vast majority of the time. The latter was important because the police statements indicated they had followed our client at a set speed and distance between two fixed points. As the police were actually gaining on our client for the majority of the time, it may well have been that the police were doing 120mph but our client was not, at least for the majority of the time.
We could not deny that our client’s speed was clearly excessive but, nevertheless, we were able to persuade the Crown to accept a plea of Not Guilty to dangerous driving and a plea of Guilty to an alternative charge of speeding.
After a plea in mitigation, our client was disqualified from driving for 70 days, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the minimum 12 month disqualification that dangerous driving carries. More importantly for our client, his conviction was for the minor offence of speeding as opposed to the far more serious conviction of dangerous driving which would have caused him extensive difficulty in his profession.
This case was handled by Steven Farmer on 24 July at Dumfries Sheriff Court.