Drink driving and disqualification

If the offence charged is contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 then the minimum disqualification period is 12 months. The minimum disqualification period is increased to 3 years if the offender has been convicted of a relevant offence within 10 years. The minimum disqualification period is increased to 2 years if the offender has two or more 56+ day disqualifications in the preceding 3 years.

The court will refer to the chart below when deciding upon the appropriate length of disqualification.


The court will also refer to the following list of factors when deciding upon the appropriate sentence.

Statutory aggravating factors:

  •  Previous convictions, having regard to a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction

  •  Offence committed whilst on bail

    Other aggravating factors:

    •  Failure to comply with current court orders

    •  Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision

    •  LGV, HGV, PSV etc

    •  Poor road or weather conditions

    •  Carrying passengers

    •  Driving for hire or reward

    •  Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving

    •  Involved in accident

    •  High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

      Factors reducing seriousness or reflecting personal mitigation

    • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions

    •  Genuine emergency established

    •  Spiked drinks

    •  Very short distance driven

    •  Remorse

    •  Good character and/or exemplary conduct

    •  Serious medical condition requiring urgent, intensive or long‐term treatment

    •  Age and/or lack of maturity where it affects the responsibility of the offender

    •  Mental disorder or learning disability

    •  Sole or primary carer for dependent relatives