It is possible to accumulate penalty points quickly especially if you do a lot of driving for work. Points are ‘live’ on your licence for three years and if you obtain 12 points or more you will be disqualified from driving immediately. It is worth bearing in mind a number of facts to help minimise the risk of losing your licence.
1. It is possible to receive penalty points even if you are not driving
You can receive penalty points even if you are not driving, for example, by being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. Some offences do not even require you to be in the vehicle, such as, permitting someone to drive your vehicle when you know they do not have insurance.
2. Failing to reply to a request for driver details can result in you receiving six points
Most motoring cases begin with a notice of intended prosecution (or Section 172 Notice). This is a letter to the registered keeper asking for details of who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence. If you don’t respond, you could receive six penalty points regardless of whether the original offence carries a lesser penalty.
3. It is possible to be banned from driving for one speeding offence
Usually, motorists receive penalty points and a fine for speeding, but it is possible to be disqualified for between seven and 56 days if the speed is substantially over the legal limit, for example travelling 101mph to 110mph in a 70mph zone or 51mph to 60mph in a 30mph zone.
4. Points can be contested
In certain circumstances, a solicitor can argue that ‘special reasons’ exist not to impose penalty points or disqualification, such as the shortness of distance driven, an emergency or necessity, or if you had been misled in some way in the case of no insurance or disqualified driving.
It is also possible to avoid immediate disqualification if we can persuade the court that ‘exceptional hardship’ exists, for example, loss of livelihood leading to severe financial hardship, or significant impact on the welfare of others who are dependent on you.