Maximum Ban by Driving Offence


Most driving offences are normally punishable by penalty points and a fine. However, some offences carry a discretionary driving ban whilst the serious offences are punishable by a mandatory disqualification.

Will I be banned from driving?

There is a risk of a driving ban if:

  • The offence can be punished by discretionary disqualification and the circumstances are felt to be serious enough to justify an instant ban, for example, very high speed, deliberate refusal to supply information;
  • The offence carries a mandatory disqualification, for example, drink / drug / dangerous driving;
  • In addition to the points valid at the time of the offence, the penalty points imposed could take you to a total of 12+ penalty points, triggering a potential 6 month "totting up" disqualification.

If there is any risk of disqualification in your case, the Court will either issue a Notice of Proposed Disqualification or allocate a hearing date for a personal attendance.

How will I know if I face a ban?

For serious offences it will be apparent that a ban is likely as you will be arrested / bailed. For less serious offences when the punishment is at the Court's discretion, a refusal to allow you to resolve matters by letter or confirmation that you must attend Court in person is a clear indication that a ban is being considered, as the Court must allow you the option to attend in person before a decision is made on disqualification.

What are the Court guidelines/maximum driving ban?

Most driving offences are normally punishable by penalty points and a fine. However, some offences carry a discretionary driving ban, whilst the serious offences are punishable by a mandatory disqualification.

When considering a discretionary disqualification, the Court will review factors indicating higher culpability as well as factors indicating lower culpability. The Court has different factors for different offences, but these may include:

  • Your past record;
  • The type of vehicle involved;
  • The circumstances behind the offence;
  • The location;
  • Who else was affected, to include other road users or passengers;
  • Subsequent conduct;
  • The implications of a ban etc.
Driving Offence Minimum Ban Maximum Ban Type of Ban
Causing death by dangerous driving* 2 years Until extended driving test passed Mandatory
Causing death by careless driving (drink or drugs) 2 years Until extended driving test passed Mandatory
Dangerous driving* 1 year Until extended driving test passed Mandatory
Drink Driving 1 year ** 3 years (repeat offenders up to 5 years) Mandatory
Drink in Charge 12 months Discretionary
Drug Driving 1 year 3 years (repeat offenders up to 5 years) Mandatory
Drug Driving in chage 12 months Discretionary
Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds Until Medical examination passed Discretionary
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence Until driving test passed Discretionary
Driving without due care and attention (careless, inconsiderate) Until driving test passed Discretionary
Driving without insurance 12 months Discretionary
Driving when disqualified 18 months Discretionary
Failing to provide a specimen for analysis (drive / attempting to drive) 12 months 3 years (5 years for repeat offenders) Discretionary
Failing to provide a specimen for analysis (in charge) 12 months Discretionary
Failing to provide details / identify driver 6 months Discretionary
Failing to stop / report accident 12 months Discretionary
Seat belt offences
Speeding 6 months Discretionary
Red traffic light 6 months Discretionary
Using mobile phone 6 months Discretionary
* Compulsory re‐test
** Rehabilitation course can reduce a ban by 25%

What is a discretionary driving ban?

In cases where the offence is felt to be so severe that punishment by way of a fine and penalty points is inadequate, the Court can instead impose an instant driving ban. The decision as to when a ban is appropriate is entirely at the discretion of the Court and will depend upon the offence, past record, mitigation and any other issue that the Court believes to be relevant, for example, the likelihood of a further offence occurring. The Court is supplied with guidelines indicating when a fine and penalty points is appropriate/inappropriate but the final decision is with the Court and the discretion available can be quite wide ranging.

What is a mandatory driving ban?

When the offence is so serious that penalty points would clearly be inadequate, the Court must impose a ban if the Defendant is found guilty. In such circumstances, the Court's discretion is limited to the duration of the ban.