Obligatory disqualification for driving offences
Produced in partnership with Red Lion Chambers

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

  • Obligatory disqualification for driving offences
  • Offences which require obligatory disqualification
  • The duration of obligatory disqualification
  • Extended period of disqualification
  • Reduced disqualification for attendance on approved course
  • Disqualification until passing of extended driving test
  • Exceptions to obligatory disqualification
  • The impact of a second conviction on obligatory disqualification
  • Notice of appeal in cases involving obligatory disqualification

Obligatory disqualification for driving offences

Offences which require obligatory disqualification

Offences which carry obligatory disqualification are set out in Schedule 2, Parts I and II of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA 1988).

These include:

  1. causing death by dangerous driving

  2. dangerous driving

  3. causing death by careless driving

  4. driving or attempting to drive when unfit

  5. driving with excess alcohol, and

  6. causing death or serious injury by driving while disqualified

The duration of obligatory disqualification

Where an offence requires obligatory disqualification the period of disqualification is for a minimum of 12 months.

Offences of:

  1. manslaughter

  2. causing death by dangerous driving, and

  3. causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs

all require an offender to be disqualified for a minimum of two years.

The minimum periods for disqualification are not starting points but the minimum periods of disqualification below which a court cannot go absent special reasons where appropriate.

Disqualification runs from the moment it is announced in court. See R v Bain [1973] RTR 213 (not reported by LexisNexis®).

The court cannot order disqualification to run from the day a defendant is released from prison. See R v Lambert [1974] RTR 244 (not reported by LexisNexis®). Instead, it will impose an extended disqualification period (see further below).

The Sentencing Council’s Totality Guideline provides that, where a person is convicted of two or more obligatory disqualification offences, the court must impose an order of disqualification for each, unless for

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