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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Impact on Businesses When Employees are Charged With Driving Offences

Hojol Uddin, Partner at JMW Solicitors

The effects of driving offences are not only felt by the driver, but can have wider implications impacting other parties – this is no more prevalent than at work. Many businesses require their employees to drive, whether it is commuting or a functional part of the job, such as delivering items or attending meetings.

There are a number of ways that businesses can work to reduce the likelihood of their employees being charged with driving offences. Unfortunately, these things are often out of a business’s hands, so it is also important to know what you can do when it is not.

In the following guide, we will assess both how to be at the side of an employee to avoid conviction and reduce sentences, and what your options are if you or one of your employees are charged with a driving offence.

What are the penalties for committing driving offences in the UK?

Driving offences is an umbrella term for any unlawful acts committed while driving a motorised vehicle. These vary from speeding to causing physical harm and death, so naturally have a broad scope of penalties.

The easiest way to assess the baseline of penalties for such offences is to look at the simple fact that, regardless of the severity of the offence, the driver’s licence could be taken away from them, for a period of time, which can cause a number of issues, more of which we will discuss below.

As well as this, the driver could be charged with any number of additional penalties depending on their offence and what harm, damage or risk they caused. Driving offences can be expensive, time-consuming and are likely to inhibit an employee’s ability to conduct activities that require them to travel.

How short and long-term convictions can affect businesses

There are both short and long-term penalties that can be incurred following a driving offence, and these may affect an employee’s ability to work in different ways. It is important to understand these so you can find solutions or provisions in the event that an employee can not fulfil their role.

Short-term penalties include:

  • Points on your licence that can last upwards of three years for court purposes, and four years until the DVLA will remove them
  • Driving disqualifications

A temporary, short discretionary disqualification will remove a driver’s entitlement to drive for a short period of time, and may require an extended re-test, depending on the offence. Drivers who have had their licence for less than two years and receive six or more points can have their licence revoked. They are then required to retake their theory and practical driving tests. This can be time-consuming and costly, as can fines.

Long-term penalties include:

  • Mandatory driving disqualification lasting upwards of 12 months
  • Community service
  • Imprisonment

Long-term penalties for motoring offences can be very serious and have a big impact on business operations due to the legal impediments placed on an employee, either removing their ability to travel, or taking them away from their job completely due to imprisonment. This can also have various effects on the employee, such as causing them to lose their job and income, and making it very difficult for them to return to work after finishing their sentence.

How to respond if you are charged with an offence

One of the ways expert motoring offences solicitors mount arguments against road traffic offences is by assessing the case and determining whether there is scope to challenge the case, and if not, how to minimise the overall sentence.

Some areas that a driver could challenge include, but are not limited to:

  • Speed camera operation and incorrect signage
  • Incorrect breathalyser operation or drug test operation

How businesses can help to prevent motoring offences

Unfortunately, motoring offences are very common in the UK, resulting in an estimated 250,000 motorists being banned from driving every year. There are a number of ways that organisations can help to prevent and reduce them, however.

Educating drivers and young people is one of the best ways to do this, and is something JMW Solicitors undertakes frequently. Companies can hold meetings about safe driving, alerting employees about new laws that are introduced and assessing any motoring risks in the area.

Additionally, good support for drug and alcohol problems can go a long way. Many businesses offer benefits to employees, and mental health and addiction services can be made much more accessible through schemes.

Safe driving should always be a priority to businesses, their owners and their employees. Regardless of the reason for dangerous driving – speeding or substance-related – businesses should aim to help their employees by taking preventative measures to reduce the chance of motoring offences before they take place.

The experts at JMW can help employees and employers who are facing motoring offences and their effects on their work, by offering advice and representation. As one of the most accomplished firms with successes in motoring offence defence, we highly recommend that you seek help from one of our professional solicitors.



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