Driving with 12 penalty points – ‘exceptional hardship’

Where you are facing the imposition of 12 penalty points under the totting provisions a mandatory 6 months disqualification from driving will be awarded by the Court – right?

This statement is of course true UNLESS  you persuade the Court that a 6 months driving ban will cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to you or any other person. Whilst it could be argued that any order of disqualification from driving entails hardship for the person who is disqualified – the hardship MUST be exceptional.

There is no statutory definition of what amounts to exceptional hardship – each case will depend upon the facts of its sown particular case. For example, loss of employment will undoubtedly cause hardship but whether loss of employment amounts to ‘exceptional hardship’ is for the Court to determine in each particular case.

Moreover, hardship can often be caused to persons other than the offender who are wholly innocent. Case law supports the fact that a Court should take more account of hardship caused to innocent parties such as family members, the public at large and employees.

Any argument that a driver should not be disqualified because of exceptional hardship must be supported by evidence presented to the Court – this often entails giving evidence in the Magistrates Court and calling evidence to support your case. An expert motoring solicitor can assist in presenting an exceptional hardship argument to the Magistrates Court. Where exceptional hardship is found the Court may either reduce the 6 month disqualification period to a lower period or avoid a disqualification all together.

#1 Motoring Solicitors are regularly instructed by drivers seeking to avoid a driving ban through arguing exceptional hardship for any number of reasons including loss of employment, impact upon a business and impact upon family members.

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