How Many Points for a Driving Offence?
If you’re accused of a driving offence you will want to know what the likely penalties are.
Unless you are offered a driver awareness course, you are almost certainly facing a fine at the very least. Usually, it is the penalty points or potential driving disqualification that causes concern for most people.
Most driving offences are ‘endorsable’ which means they result in penalty points. The law sets out the number of points that should be imposed for each offence. This may be a set number of points or a range, depending on the offence.
There are a number of non-endorsable driving offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt, or keeping a vehicle without insurance.
All endorsable offences carry a minimum number of penalty points. For example, speeding carries a minimum of 3 points and driving without insurance carries a minimum of 6 points.
These minimums are non-negotiable. They are mandatory unless you have a defence or special reasons argument.
You cannot avoid points by paying a higher fine.
The alternative to penalty points is a driving disqualification. Such driving bans are called ‘discretionary disqualifications’.
The court has the discretion to impose a discretionary ban. The police have no say in the decision. You cannot choose but can try to encourage the court to impose a ban if that is what you would prefer.
All offences which carry penalty points can attract a discretionary ban instead.
There is no minimum or maximum length of discretionary disqualification in law. The courts’ sentencing guidelines set out suggested periods for bans in certain circumstances.
Common Driving Offences
Below are some of the most common offences that carry points and the minimum and maximum number of penalty points you can normally receive.
The table does not take into account special reasons arguments.
|Failing to give driver details
|Careless driving (driving without due care)
|Using/permitting or causing the use of a vehicle without insurance
|Using a mobile phone or handheld device
|Not in proper control of a vehicle
|Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
|0 or 3 (depending on the nature of the offence)
|In charge of a vehicle (alcohol or drugs related offences)