guilty to speeding. I don’t know if I should do that if I wasn’t speeding. But I just want it dealt with. Is that the sensible thing to do?


For the reading given, you will be at risk of a 12 to 16-month disqualification and an unlimited fine. Unfortunately drink driving carries a mandatory, minimum 12-month disqualification. There is no dis- cretion for the courts not to disqualify. If you plead

guilty, you will be banned. The best sentence you can hope for is a 12-month ban together with the option to complete a drink drive rehabilitation course which, when completed, would take 1/4 off the ban.

It is different from, for example, a totting disqualification. When a person accumulates 12 or more points during a three-year period, they are at risk of a six-month ban, but that is discretionary, and the courts don’t have to ban you. They can consider an exceptional hardship argument and decide not to disqualify. They cannot do that with drink driving cases.

If you want to try to avoid the disqualification, we will need to discuss the offence with you in more detail and review the papers so that we can advise if there is any defence.


During the first lockdown when my partner and I were at home we were sharing both of our vehicles because we only have a small drive, and we would take the car that was parked at the end of it. At one point one of us was speeding in the car but we

didn’t know who it was. It was only at 35 in a 30mph zone. We got a letter from the police asking us to name the driver, but we said we didn’t know. We both have clean licences so there was nothing to avoid. We wrote back to them to explain we didn’t know and then they ended up prosecuting me for failing to provide driver information. When I got the letter from the court, I pleaded not guilty to that and to speeding, for which they had also prosecuted me. They then sent me a Summons for trial. I am now going to court in April and I just feel completely out of my depth. The prosecution wrote to me yesterday to say that they will withdraw failing to provide driver information if I plead

APRIL 2021

That is certainly an option open to you. Failing to provide driver information carries six penalty points and up to a £1,000 fine. Speeding carries three penalty points and up to a £500 fine. So half the sentence.

If you accept their offer, then you would be sentenced for speeding. The court imposes the points and the fine and that will be the end of it. They could probably even do that in your absence without you ever having to go to court.

If you reject their offer, it is a gamble. Both matters, so speeding and failing to provide driver information, would go to trial.

Unless they have strong identification evidence of you speeding, so for example a front facing photograph, then it is unlikely they will have enough identification evidence to find you guilty, so it is likely that matter would be withdrawn.

That would leave failing to provide driver information. You may have a defence to that as well. If the keeper of the vehicle is unable to nominate the driver there is a defence available if you can show that you did not know who was driving and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who it was. In your case the reason you did not know was because you were both sharing the vehicle regularly, so could not obviously work out who it was. The key to your defence is going to be the diligence that you’ve exercised and the steps you took to try to work it out. It could include things like checking your bank statements to see if you were on the way to the shop or had stopped for petrol, perhaps checking your phone records and diaries to see if anything could have jogged your memory.

If you have gone to those lengths and you have a strong defence, it may be to your benefit to defend both matters as you may walk away with no points and no fine. However, it is a gamble because if you lose, then you will end up with six points and £1,000 fine. It is too late at that point to go back and accept their offer of a plea to the speeding offence.

Call me so that we can discuss further.

This impartial advice has been provided by Patterson Law Solicitors 01626 359800


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