Hamer Childs Criminal Defence and Road Traffic Solicitors Blog

In this section of our website we seek to answer general questions concerning criminal defence and road traffic matters.

Please feel free to submit a general question regarding criminal defence and road traffic matters but please be aware that we cannot use this section to answer specific questions about a particular case.

Should you need help with a specific question please contact us on 01905 724565.

Can Hamer Childs help me save my driving licence if I am convicted of drink driving?

A It is incredibly difficult to save a person’s driving licence if they are convicted (plead guilty or are found guilty of drink driving. However, it is possible, if you successfully argue that the Court should find a ‘special reason’ for not disqualifying you.

To establish a special reason, 4 criteria must be met and to be special, a reason must be special to the offence and not to the offender. A special reason must therefore be:

  • A mitigating or extenuating circumstance.
  • Not amounting to a defence to the charge; but be
  • directly connected with the commission of the offence; and
  • one which the court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing punishment.

This means that there will be no point arguing that you need your licence for your livelihood as this relates to you and not the offence and, therefore, cannot be a special reason.

Special reasons are not a closed category meaning that any argument that fits the above criteria can amount to a special reason. However, to date, the following types of special reasons have been accepted:

  • Medical Emergencies

Here, the Court will take into account the nature and degree of the medical emergency, whether there are alternative means of transport, the duration of the emergency and what would be the advice of a sober and responsible friend.

  • Shortness of Distance Driven

Here, the main criteria that the Court will look at is whether you are likely to come into contact with other road users but there are other criteria as well

  • Laced Drinks

Here, there must be admissible and relevant evidence that your drinks were laced. You must also pay attention to the obvious. So if your drinks were unknowingly laced but you felt drunk and realised that you were not fit to drive, this would not amount to a special reason.

The fact that a special reason has been found does not necessarily mean that you escape disqualification as of right. A finding of a special reason gives rise to the magistrates’ discretion to not disqualify you or to disqualify you for a shorter period than the normal 12 months. That said there would need to be ‘clear and compelling circumstances’ for the Court not to exercise its discretion in your favour.

Please note the above is not meant to be comprehensive advice or be applicable to your specific circumstances. Should you wish for this kind of help please contact us on 01905 724565.

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