Penalty Points and Disqualifications

Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

  • Not all offences carry penalty points, some only carry a fine.
  • The general rule is that if you need a licence to commit the crime, then it is endorseable.

                     - Speeding requires a licence, so it is endorseable.

                     - Not having a valid MOT does not require a licence so is only fineable.

  • Certain non-motoring offences such as failure to rectify vehicle defects can also attract penalty points.

  • Penalty points are set by statute so the court MUST order points to be endorsed on the licence according to the fixed number or the range set by Parliament.

                       - Penalty points generally stay on the licence for 3 years though DVLA's approach is 4 years before you can apply to have them removed.

Certain more serious offences such as drunk driving stay on the licence for 10 years.

  • The courts also have discretion to order a retest for any offence:

                        - Which carries penalty points.

                        - An extended retest where disqualification is obligatory.

                        - An ordinary test where disqualification is not obligatory.

  • NB. Section 33A of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 which applies to Scotland only. In certain circumstances the vehicle involved in the accident may be forfeited!

  • Note also Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.143(6) which allows forfeiture of a vehicle for certain offences which can result in imprisonment. This table shows the most common offences with the maximum applicable penalties.

Code Offence Imprisonment Fine Disqualification Points
DD80 extended retest
required.
Causing death by dangerous
driving
14 years Unlimited Obligatory.
Minimum of
2 years.
3-11 (if
exceptionally
not
disqualified) 
DD40 extended retestrequired Dangerous driving 2 years Unlimited  Ogligatory 3-11 (if
exceptionally
not
disqualified)
CD40, drink
CD50, drugs
CD60, alcohol
level above
limit.
Extended retest required
Causing death by careless
driving under the influence
of drink or drugs
14 years Unlimited Obligatory.
Minimum of
2 years
3-11 (if
exceptionally
not
disqualified)
CD10
CD20
CD30
Careless and inconsiderate
driving
  £5,000 Discretionary 3-9 pts
DR10
DR20
DR30
DR80
Driving while unfit through
drink or drugs or with excess
alcohol or failing to provide a specimen for analysis
6 months £5,000 Obligatory 3-11 (if
exceptionally
not
disqualified)
AC10
AC20
Failing to stop after an
accident or failing to report
an accident. 
6 months  £5,000  Discretionary  5-10pts 
BA10
BA30 
Driving when disqualified  12 months in
Scotland 
£5,000  Discretionary 
LC50  Driving after refusal or
revocation of licence on
medical grounds 
6 months  £5,000  Discretionary   3-6 months
IN10S  Driving without insurance    £5,000   Discretionary  6-8 pts 
Covered by Construction
and Use Codes
CU10, CU20, CU30, CU40


CU50



CU80 

Using a vehicle in a
dangerous condition

Causing or likely to cause
danger by reason of load
or passengers

Using a mobile phone while
driving a motor vehicle

  LGV £5,000

PCV £5,000

Other £2,500 
Obligatory if
offence committed
within 3 years
of a previous
conviction for the same offence - 6 months
minimum otherwise
discretionary 
3 in each case 
LC20   Driving otherwise than
in accordance with a licence 
  £1,000  Discretionary  3-6pts 
SP10 to SP60  Speeding    £1,000 (£2,500
for motorway
offences) 
Discretionary  3-6 or 3 (fixed
penalty) 
TS10 to TS70 Traffic light and signs offences    £1,000  Discretionary  3
MS90   Failing to identify driver of
a vehicle 
  £1,000  Discretionary   6
(Post 24/09/2007) 
MS20  Unlawful pillion riding    £1,000  Discretionary  

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