If you’re convicted of drink driving, you should expect to be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months. However, you may avoid a drink-driving ban if you present a compelling “special reason” that proves why you should not be disqualified.
Although a special reasons argument may prevent disqualification, it does not amount to a defence. You will still have to plead guilty, and will therefore have a drink driving conviction on your record. However, you would then attempt to persuade the magistrates not to follow the usual rules for sentencing drink drivers.
What Is a Valid Special Reasons Argument?
While it may be possible to present many reasons why you committed an offence, the law distinguishes between ordinary or unrelated reasons and special reasons connected to the offence itself. In order for a special reason to be considered, it needs to be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance that is directly related to the offence itself. This means that any hardships, or problems that a driving ban may cause you or someone else are irrelevant to a special reasons argument.
There’s no fixed list of special reasons, but common examples include:
- Shortness of distance driven
- Laced or “spiked” drinks
If you think you have a special reason that may help you avoid disqualification, it’s important to talk to a legal representative that can help you assess and plan your case. Our Barristers have extensive experience in presenting successful special arguments cases.
What Makes Special Reasons so Difficult to Argue?
Courts take drink driving offences very seriously and are naturally reluctant to accept special reasons arguments. Their starting position will always be a disqualification. You therefore need to make sure any special reasons you rely on are clearly made out and properly argued. It is up to you, and your legal representative, to convince the court that your special reasons are valid.
You will have to argue that there was something about the offence itself that means special reasons not to disqualify you should apply. However, you can expect the court to be sceptical about what you say, and closely examine all the facts before it decides not to ban you from driving. As with exceptional hardship arguments, this requires an understanding of what the court needs to hear and an ability to put forward a clearly structured and persuasive argument.
How Avoid A Ban Can Help
Avoid A Ban Barristers are experienced at presenting special reason arguments and can use them to help some drivers reduce their chances of being banned from driving and minimise other penalties and costs.