In this month’s edition we feature more road traffic issues relevant to the trade supplied by Patterson Law. These questions are based on real enquiries that we have received from professional drivers this month. If you need any advice on motoring matters please email or call 01626 359800 for free legal advice. For regular updates on road traffic law follow us on or


I got a speeding ticket for a car that’s not mine. I’ve never driven it and have no idea about it. I ignored it and they wrote to me again asking who was driv- ing. I ignored it again. Then they wrote to me

saying they were going to take me to court. I called the police station and explained it was nothing to do with me but the officer said they were going to prosecute me for failing to give details? Am I obliged to give details even when I don’t know who was driving and it isn’t my car? It hardly seems fair. Is this something you can help with?

Yes, we can help with this but we need to get to work quickly. When a vehicle has been recorded speeding, the police write to the registered keep- er to ask them the to nominate who was driving.

The registered keeper nominates a person, and that person gets a letter asking them who was driving, and so on. At some point along the line, someone would have nominated you as the driver. That is why you have got a request for information in your own right.

But there is an obligation to respond. The law draws a distinction between two classes of people, the ‘keeper’ of the vehicle and ‘any other person’.

The ‘keeper’ must nominate the driver. If they do not, their only defence is if they can show that they did not know who was driving and have exercised diligence in an attempt to find out. But of course that doesn’t apply to you.

However, you would be classed as ‘any other person’ - and you have a slightly different duty, which is to give all information in your power to give which may lead to the driver’s identity.

Unfortunately that does mean that you do have to give some information, even if that information is that the vehicle was nothing to do with you and you have no idea


who was driving, as that may lead to the police going back to whoever nominated you to make further enquiries.

If the case has already preceded to court for failing to give driver information it may be too late. You could already be looking at six points and up to £1,000 fine.

However if you instruct us quickly we may be able to dis- solve the situation. I would like to contact the police and ask them if it is too late for you to go back and give that information so you can discharge your duty.


I was watching the football with friends and as the match went to extra time I ended up having an extra couple of pints. I only ever intended to have two and drive home, but after I’d had four I

thought I might be okay so thought I’d risk it. I drove home and had a crash on the way. No one was badly hurt, but I did destroy someone’s garden wall. They came out of the house and we got in an argument about it, I feel really embarrassed about the whole thing because obviously it was my fault. The police arrived about ten minutes later and they breathalysed me and I was just above the limit, I think the reading was 43. At the station I blew 41 and 42. I’ve now got to go to court for drink- driving. I know I’m going to be banned but I’m just worried about prison. The accident was really bad and a lot of damage was caused. What could I be looking at?


Unfortunately you are correct, drink-driving does carry a mandatory minimum 12-month disqualifi- cation. It means that if you plead guilty or are found guilty, there is no way to avoid a ban.

The sentencing for drink-driving works in brackets. If the reading is between 36 and 59 you are at risk of a 12 to 16 month disqualification, if the reading is between 60 to 89 it is a 17 to 22-month ban. 90 and 119 puts you at risk of a 23 to 28-month ban as well as community orders, and anything with a reading of 120 and above puts you at risk of a minimum 29-month ban as well as prison. That is how the guidance works.

So as you will see, for the reading you gave of 41 (they use the lower of the two you gave at the station and disregard both the higher reading as well as the roadside reading), so you are a long way from prison.

The fact there was an accident will be used against you as an aggravating factor, meaning the court may want to


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88