The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Unexpected Nasties

Not every consequence of driving offences is ordered by the courts. These days the licensing authority (DVLA) has a couple of nasty surprises up its sleeve.

For example, if a driver gets to six penalty points (which you can get for a serious speeding offence, or two lesser ones, or for having no insurance) within two years of passing his driving test, his licence is revoked and he has to take a fresh driving test. This has happened to tens of thousands of new drivers, and in many cases it has come as a shock to the defendant. The process is purely administrative, with no judicial involvement.

Another little-known sanction applies to more serious drink-drive cases. If the alcohol reading was very high, or if the driver has been convicted previously of a similar offence, or if he refuses a breath test, then he is classified as a High Risk Offender, and he is not automatically given a new licence at the end of his ban. If medical tests show continuing abuse of alcohol he may never again be allowed to drive.