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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Part 9 - Disqualification for Driving

801.Sections 34 and 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provide that where an offender has more than one previous disqualification for a period of 56 days or more a higher minimum period of disqualification applies. Sections 34A to 34C of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provide for a reduction in the period of disqualification for offenders convicted of drink-driving offences who successfully complete an approved driver retraining course. Similarly, sections 34D to 34G and 41B of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, when implemented, will provide for an offender convicted of a “relevant drink offence” to obtain a reduced period of disqualification for that offence by agreeing to participate, at his or her own expense, in an alcohol ignition interlock programme. Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 determines the minimum period of disqualification for a repeat offender. Section 37 of that Act deals with the effect of the disqualification in terms of when the licence is revoked and comes back into effect, including disregarding any period of suspension pending an appeal. Section 42 provides for an application to be made to the court for the removal of disqualification after a certain period has expired. Section 47 requires courts to send to the Secretary of State for endorsement licences of persons disqualified for 56 days or more.

802.Paragraph 90 of Schedule 21 provides for an extension period generated by provisions inserted by Schedule 16 (that is, section 35A or 35B of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, section 248D of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, or section 147A of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000) to be disregarded in certain circumstances. These are as follows: when a court is determining whether an offender’s previous driving disqualifications included more than one previous disqualification for a period of 56 days or more, such as to attract a higher minimum period of disqualification; in calculating any appropriate reduction in the length of the disqualification; the minimum period of disqualification; the time before an application can be made for removal of a disqualification under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988; and determining whether the length of the ban is less, or more, than 56 days, as appropriate.

803.Paragraph 91 makes similar amendments to the Road Traffic Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 about disregarding an extension period arising because of Article 8A of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1980, Article 40A of the Road Traffic Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 or Article 91A of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008.

804.Section 54 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 gives effect to mutual recognition of disqualification for driving so that drivers normally resident in one member State of the European Union who are disqualified from driving in another member State will also be disqualified in their state of residence. Paragraph 93 of Schedule 21 inserts a new subsection, subsection (3A), into that section so that an extension period is disregarded for the purposes of the minimum period of disqualification which requires notification to a central authority.

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