Getting away from a domestic special reason

Convicted Driver Insurance

Kerry80

Member
Hi my friend got caught drink driving last week after getting away from a domestic violence situation ( the police took pictures of his face ) but he did get caught 9 years ago and got banned for 12 months he now has his own house and lives on his own and needs his car for work as he is a mobile hair stylist so his solicitor is going to approach the special reasons thing has anyone else had something similar happen? Thanks
 

price1367

TTC Group
Special reasons are hard to convince the magistrates about.
What does the solicitor say are the ‘special reasons? The 9 year gap is no use, neither is needing the car for work…. It has to be a special reason for why he drive on that occasion. This is different to a ‘totting up’ ban avoidance plea when a person reaches 12 points and claim hardship…. It doesn't wash for drink driving.
He has to plead guilty, but there is what is called a ‘Newton hearing’ to decide if there are special reasons. The magistrates can consider not giving a ban, but they can also give a reduced ban as an alternative so even if he is successful he may not be out of the woods.
The domestic violence could be tried, but the parameters on that are very narrow:

He had to be escaping from the threat of serious injury and drive for no more than is necessary to escape the violence.
So,
What was his reading in breath?
What time of day / night was it?
What was the traffic like or pedestrian footfall? (The more traffic / people about the less likely he is to succeed)
How bad were his injuries?
Why did he not run from the house and avoid driving?
How far had he driven? This can be important. I have seen ‘special reasons’ fail where the person drove past a phone box where they could have called for help (yes, that was quite a while ago!) and another where they could have driven s shorted distance by going to hospital than where they were stopped driving.
How much further had he intended driving?
What was the purpose of driving beyond escaping serious violence? Was he going to the police, was he going to hospital, was he going to a relative miles away? The police will probably have made a record of what he said his intentions were.

He needs to think about these questions that will be asked of him in court (he will have to give evidence on his reasons for driving and be cross examined on them)
He will not be able to get legal aid for a special reasons hearing, even if he qualifies for it at the actual guilty plea hearing.
 

Sundog

Well-known member
This was covered I recall during the smart awareness course. There are examples covered where you’d expect leniency, but there was none granted.

The only (very few) circumstances cited under which it has ever been upheld as a valid excuse were where when ALL other options could be proven to have been exhausted.

Your friend needs to consider whether or not this can indeed be proven. If taxis were called, calls for help, for a lift or even emergency services.

Sorry to sound pessimistic but any attempt of a not guilty please will probably be at the expense of any leniency. So maybe best take legal advice and advise your friend to be well prepared with mitigating proof which will be required. I wish you the best of luck with it all.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
Hi my friend got caught drink driving last week after getting away from a domestic violence situation ( the police took pictures of his face ) but he did get caught 9 years ago and got banned for 12 months he now has his own house and lives on his own and needs his car for work as he is a mobile hair stylist so his solicitor is going to approach the special reasons thing has anyone else had something similar happen? Thanks
I think the only reason he might get 'off' is if he can convince the Magistrate he was in real fear of his life. That is a very high benchmark to pass. I have even heard of people being convicted that have driven a seriously ill person to hospital e.g. heart attack.
 
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