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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE OUR 30 PAGE E-BOOK ON EXCEPTIONAL HARDSHIP PLEASE COMPLETE THE CONTACT FORM TO THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE AND TYPE THE WORDS “E-BOOK OFFER” In the meantime here are some basics on the subject:
When Will A Court Accept Exceptional Hardship And Not Disqualify?
Exceptional hardship is only relevant when you are disqualified under the ”totting up” provisions. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your licence within a period of three years, then you will automatically be disqualified from driving for a period of six months (or longer if you have been disqualified before). Information on ‘totting up’ driving bans can be viewed here.
However, it is possible to reduce the length of disqualification or even remove it altogether if there are mitigating circumstances. Simply saying to the court that the disqualification will cause hardship is not enough. It is thought that disqualification would normally cause hardship, and is part of the penalty. Only if you can show that the hardship is exceptional will the court consider that the penalty should be reduced. The courts interpret this strictly exceptional hardship must be something out of the ordinary.
What could amount to exceptional hardship in any given case depends on the circumstances. If you can show that the disqualification would also cause hardship to others ”for example family members, work colleagues or employees, or others who rely on you, such as ill or infirm relatives” then this will certainly be in your favour. In one case, a self-employed painter and decorator argued that a disqualification would result in his business failing (resulting in hardship to him and his family) and his three employees losing their jobs (which would cause hardship for their families). The painter was the only person in the business who held a licence, and he required to drive a van to transport his employees and equipment. This was held to be exceptional hardship.
Alternatively, if the disqualification would cause you extreme personal hardship, then the courts may consider that exceptional hardship has been established. In one case, a driver argued that if he was disqualified, he would lose his job, be unable to pay his mortgage and would lose his house, would be unable to pay a loan from his employers, and would probably result in the break-up of his marriage. The court considered that in the circumstances this was exceptional hardship. In another case, a full-time taxi driver in his forties successfully argued that if he was disqualified, he would lose his taxi licence which would take him up to ten years to regain. The court found that this amounted to exceptional hardship.
Other cases in which exceptional hardship was established
Mugaraneza v PF Glasgow (11 December 2008)
Driver’s business would come to an end and his three employees (including his wife) would lose their employment if he was disqualified. The court noted the importance to the driver’s family of his income and that of his wife, and the current economic climate.
Colgan v McDonald (1999)
Single mother with one son who had cerebral palsy and another who had behavioural difficulties which necessitated psychiatric treatment. Required to drive her sons to school and hospital, and generally transport them.
Findlay v Walkingshaw (1998)
Driver was a livestock driver who also had very specific skills, experience and duties who would be difficult to replace. Disqualification would have a significant impact on the driver’s employer.
Howdle v Davidson (1994)
Wife had a franchise of a car garage, which was effectively run by her husband, the driver. Strong possibility that driver would lose his job and his wife would lose the franchise, leaving the driver, his wife and their children without income. The security of the company would also be jeapordised, and so too would the employment of other staff.