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Drink driving, Hamilton, 21 February 2017, licence saved

This was a very rare case where a person was convicted of drink driving but NOT disqualified from driving.

Drink driving carries a mandatory disqualification from driving unless special reasons can be established in terms of section 34 of the Road Traffic (Offenders) Act 1988. An example of special reasons would be that a drink driver only drove in response to a genuine emergency where no other reasonable option was available.

In this case our client was staying at a friend’s house. She had inadvertently parked her car in front of a neighbour’s garage. She and her friend had then been woken the following morning by the (irate) neighbour who was shouting and swearing at her to get her car moved. Our client felt threatened by this behaviour and made the decision to move her car a few metres down the road. The irate neighbour, despite telling her to get her car moved, smelled the previous night’s alcohol on her breath and called the police!

The police arrived and arrested our client.

A hearing called a special reasons proof was held. Although not straightforward, and some aspects of our client’s evidence being criticised by the sheriff, he was nevertheless persuaded that special reasons were applicable in the circumstances of the case. Our client received 8 penalty points but her licence was saved.

This case was prepared and handled by Graham Walker on 21 February 2017 at Hamilton Sheriff Court.