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Revised Sentencing Guidelines for Motoring Offences:

Posted: 18 August 2023

In June 2023, the Sentencing Guidelines for Motoring Offences were revised and updated in England and Wales. Six of the existing guidelines were revised following the introduction of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. These are as follows:

  1. Causing death by dangerous driving.
  2. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs.
  3. Causing death by careless driving.
  4. Causing death by driving whilst disqualified.
  5. Causing death by driving whilst unlicensed or uninsured.
  6. Dangerous driving.
Six new guidelines for motoring offences have also been published, as follows:
  1. Causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
  2. Causing serious injury by driving whilst disqualified.
  3. Causing serious injury by careless driving.
  4. Causing injury by wanton or furious driving.
  5. Driving or attempting to drive with a specified drug above the specified limit.
  6. Being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified drug above the specified limit.

The new and revised guidelines came into effect on 1st July 2023.

Revised Sentencing Guidelines for Motoring Offences

What was the reason for this change?

The reason for the revised and new guidelines within England and Wales was to provide further deterrents to reduce the number of deaths or serious injuries caused by dangerous driving or other motoring offences on the road. It further allows for consistency within the court system when passing a sentence for the majority of motoring offences.

To achieve this, the sentencing council has increased the level of sentences within the guidelines, with provisions explaining the level of seriousness in relation to both harm and culpability.

Examples:

There have been many changes, revisions, and updates, and below are just some examples of the updates within motoring offences concerning the list above.

  • In relation to the offences of causing death by dangerous driving or Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, the sentencing council has increased the maximum sentence. This has increased from 14 years to life imprisonment.

The disqualification period has also increased from 2 years to 5 years with compulsory extended re-test for both offences.

  • The new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving has a maximum penalty of 5 year’s imprisonment. It further carries an unlimited fine and an obligatory driving disqualification with a compulsory extended re-test.
  • The new offence of causing injury by wanton or furious driving has the maximum penalty of 2 years. The Guideline is silent on disqualification. This incorporates circumstances where vehicles are not driven on a road or public place or cyclists who cause death or serious injury.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss motoring offences in further detail, please contact our Criminal Team call 01376 559690 or 01245 493959, or you can send an email.

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