Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs
Produced in partnership with Paul Renteurs of 2 Hare Court
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Paul Renteurs of 2 Hare Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs
  • The elements of the offence
  • Driving without reasonable consideration for other persons
  • The condition of the driver
  • Sentencing

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 1988). This is an indictable only offence, and can only be tried in the Crown Court.

A person commits an offence if they:

  1. cause the death of another person

  2. by driving

  3. a mechanically propelled vehicle

  4. on a road or other public place

  5. without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place

  6. and

    1. at the time of driving they were unfit to drive through drink or drugs

    2. the level of alcohol or drugs in their blood exceeds the legal limit

    3. he refuses to provide a specimen of blood or urine as required, or

    4. without reasonable excuse, they refuse to consent to a laboratory test of a specimen of blood that has been taken

Causing the death of another person

The driving of the vehicle in the manner alleged by the prosecution must also be proven by the prosecution to have caused the death in question. The test of causation is the same as that applied in cases of causing death by dangerous driving.

In R v Hennigan, the appellant had been driving in a speed restricted area at speeds in excess of 80mph. Another

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