Discretionary disqualification for driving offences
Produced in partnership with Daniel Taylor of Red Lion Chambers
Discretionary disqualification for driving offences

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Daniel Taylor of Red Lion Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Discretionary disqualification for driving offences
  • Discretionary power to disqualify from driving
  • Offences to which discretionary disqualification applies
  • Totting up driving offences
  • Considerations when disqualifying is discretionary
  • Discretionary disqualification and penalty points disqualification
  • Length of disqualification
  • Extended period of disqualification
  • Requirement for defendant or representative to be warned
  • Removal of disqualification
  • More...

Discretionary power to disqualify from driving

The principal statutes that govern discretionary disqualification are the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA 1988) and the Sentencing Act 2020 (SA 2020) known as the Sentencing Code.

Offences to which discretionary disqualification applies

Where a defendant is convicted of an offence involving discretionary disqualification and either the penalty points to be taken into account number fewer than 12 or the offence is not one involving obligatory endorsement, the court may impose a period of disqualification.

For the purposes of the RTOA 1988, an offence involves discretionary disqualification if:

  1. it is an offence under a provision of the Traffic Acts specified in column 1 of Part I of Sch 2 of the RTOA 1988

  2. an offence specified in column 1 of Part II of that Schedule and either the word ‘discretionary’ (without qualification) appears in column 5 (in the case of Part I) or column 2 (in the case of Part II) against the offence, or

  3. the word ‘discretionary’ appears, where qualified by conditions or circumstances relating to the offence

Common offences which carry discretionary disqualification include:

  1. speeding

  2. drunk in charge of a motor vehicle

  3. failing to co-operate with a preliminary test, and

  4. careless/inconsiderate driving

Totting up driving offences

Where a driver incurs 12 or more penalty points in respect of offences to which discretionary disqualification applies within a three-year period, they will be subject

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