Road traffic offences

Road traffic offences guidance:

Proving the identity of the driver Where the court is satisfied that accused was served with a notice under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) and the...

Practice Note

Consent to specimens of blood and urine at the police station The police have the power to request a sample of blood or urine instead of a specimen of breath if one of...

Practice Note

The offence of aggravated vehicle-taking A person is guilty of aggravated vehicle taking if: • they take a conveyance without the owner's or other lawful authority's...

Practice Note

Definition of automatism An act is done in a state of automatism if it is done by the body without control by the mind, (eg it is a spasm or a reflex), or if it is done...

Practice Note

This Practice Note explains how the proportion of alcohol in a driver’s system at the time they were driving, rather than at the time that the breath or lab blood or...

Practice Note

Careless or inconsiderate driving If a person drives a car carelessly on a road or public place, or without consideration for other users of the road or place they may be...

Practice Note

The elements of the offence Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is an offence under section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA...

Practice Note

Causing death by driving while disqualified Section 3ZC of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) creates a separate offence of causing death by driving while disqualified...

Practice Note

The offence of dangerous driving Dangerous driving contrary to section 2 Road traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) is an offence that can be tried in the Crown Court or the...

Practice Note

Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving If a person drives a car carelessly or without consideration for other road users and their driving causes the death of...

Practice Note

The elements of the offence of dangerous driving Dangerous driving is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, s 1 (RTA 1988). This is an indictable only offence and...

Practice Note

Defendant to raise their defence A number of defences may apply in road traffic cases. These include: • automatism • insanity • duress and necessity, and • the 'hip...

Practice Note

Discretionary power to disqualify from driving The principal statutes that govern discretionary disqualification are the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA 1988) and...

Practice Note

Driving disqualification for any offence Where the Crown Court or a magistrates’ court convicts an offender of any offence it may, instead of or in addition to dealing...

Practice Note

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) creates a number of alcohol and drug related offences. The principal ones are: • driving with excess alcohol or drugs • attempting to...

Practice Note

Police powers and preliminary tests Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) there are three types of preliminary tests. These are: • a breath test administered by the...

Practice Note

The offences The Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) creates two offences: • obtaining a driving licence whilst disqualified, and • driving a motor vehicle on the road...

Practice Note

The offence of driving with no insurance It is an offence to use, or to cause or permit another to use, a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) unless...

Practice Note

If a person drives or is in charge of a motor vehicle with a concentration of a specified controlled drug in their body which is above the legal limit, they will be...

Practice Note

Duress by threats Duress by threats provides a complete defence to a charge of any offence other than murder, attempted murder and potentially treason. The defence arises...

Practice Note

What is an evidential specimen? Once a suspect has been arrested for an alcohol (or drug) related motoring offence, the police will require them to provide a specimen of...

Practice Note

The offence of failing to identify driver Registered owners and drivers of vehicles are required, under certain circumstances, to provide information as to the driver of...

Practice Note

Drivers are under a duty to stop at the scene of an accident, provide personal details and report an accident. These duties are governed by the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA...

Practice Note

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an...

Practice Note

What is an operator's licence? An operator's licence is a legal authority to operate a certain category of vehicle within the UK. Operator licensing applies to heavy...

Practice Note

In England, Wales and Scotland, operator licences are issued by Traffic Commissioners. Traffic Commissioners are responsible for the licensing and regulation of those who...

Practice Note