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Law may change to end excuse that lets you avoid ban for speeding. Exceptional Hardship., Threads merged
The Slithy Tove
post Thu, 23 Jan 2020 - 20:20
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This is typically bad reporting from Get<name-your-county-here>, but here we go:
https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/uk-world-n...e-lets-17616248

Leaving aside the fact that there would be no change in the law, just a change in sentencing guidelines, I though that simply losing your job wasn't sufficient to succeed with an exceptional hardship case anyway (or that's what's always stated on these forums). I guess they're just looking for the hardship to be a bit more exceptional than the current threshold.
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post Thu, 23 Jan 2020 - 20:20
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southpaw82
post Thu, 23 Jan 2020 - 22:40
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QUOTE
Loss of employment will not automatically be deemed as exceptional hardship


It isn’t.


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The Rookie
post Fri, 24 Jan 2020 - 09:53
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The SG Council release on the consultation.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/news/i...tions-proposed/

And the proposed new guidance (which I read more as a clarification than an actual change perhaps).

The new guidance sets out clearly what the courts should have regard to when considering whether there are grounds to reduce or avoid a disqualification due to exceptional hardship:
The test is not inconvenience or hardship, but exceptional hardship for which the court must have evidence – which may include the offender’s sworn evidence.
Some hardship is likely to occur in many if not most orders of disqualification.
Courts should be cautious before accepting assertions of exceptional hardship without evidence that alternatives (including alternative means of transport) for avoiding exceptional hardship are not viable.
Loss of employment will not in itself necessarily amount to exceptional hardship; whether or not it does will depend on the circumstances of the offender and the consequences of that loss of employment on the offender and/or others.
The more severe the hardship suffered by the offender and/or others as a result of the disqualification, the more likely it is to be exceptional.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Fri, 24 Jan 2020 - 09:53


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Lodesman
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 12:16
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This from our local newsletter, apologies if it has been mentioned before.

Magistrates are to crackdown on motorists who claim "exceptional hardship" to avoid driving bans following a series of controversial high-profile cases.
The sentencing council, which oversees rules on sentences, is proposing new guidance for magistrates that will toughen up the tests when they determine whether a driver facing disqualification can claim “exceptional hardship” often through threatened loss of earnings.
Celebrities who have successfully used the defence include comedian Steve Coogan, the TV chef Tom Kerridge, former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff and pop star Gareth Gates.
However, even the specialist motoring solicitor Nick Freeman, known as “Mr Loophole,” has called for the law to be redrafted after it was revealed one unnamed driver from the west Midlands was still allowed to drive after clocking up 54 points on his licence.
Under the new guidance, the sentencing council says offending drivers should not be allowed to escape bans simply for “inconvenience or hardship.” Instead it says it must be “exceptional hardship for which the court must have evidence – which may include the offender’s sworn evidence.”
The most controversial was a property millionaire facing a driving ban who claimed that having to hire chauffeurs would be an “exceptional hardship.” He claimed that during a previous ban he went through “five or six” drivers who would not pick him up during the anti-social hours he worked.
The hardship defence relates to offences where points are totted up but Mr Freeman suggested it was inappropriate when bundling together multiple offences.
“There should be one exceptional hardship argument for one offence. What we have now is not a loophole. It’s bad law and it’s why the legislation sorely needs redrafting,” he said.
Under the sentencing council plans, motorists who are caught driving while disqualified also face longer bans under the proposed changes.
Motorists who are caught driving while disqualified may also face longer bans under the changes. Any additional ban for a disqualified motorist caught driving runs concurrently with their first, so the proposals make sure that the new ban is calculated by adding on the time left on the existing ban.
Daily Telegraph 22/01/20
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southpaw82
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 12:36
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It doesn’t sound like the law needs changing but rather magistrates need to focus on “exceptional” more.


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TMC Towcester
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 16:31
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Fine by me if they dispense with the EH get-out altogether..............
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Fredd
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 18:08
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QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 16:31) *
Fine by me if they dispense with the EH get-out altogether..............

A recent poster (in the Flame Pit) might point out that even the Magna Carta had something to say about not ruining people for a minor crime. biggrin.gif


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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 18:50
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Perhaps they just want to stop the cheeky bu**ers like that ex MP Fiona something or other. She's already forgotten (by me at least)


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cp8759
post Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 23:41
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QUOTE (Fredd @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 18:08) *
QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 16:31) *
Fine by me if they dispense with the EH get-out altogether..............

A recent poster (in the Flame Pit) might point out that even the Magna Carta had something to say about not ruining people for a minor crime. biggrin.gif

Well an often quoted statistic is that 25% of some proportion (sorry I don't recall the exact metric) of totting cases result in the defendant being allowed to drive with 12+ points on their licence (I suspect Logician will be along to correct me). Something that happens in 25% of cases (no matter the metric concerned) by definition cannot be exceptional, on the contrary it sounds rather routine.

To be exceptional it should be more like 1 in every 100 or 1 in every 50 cases, not 1 in 4.


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Fredd
post Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 00:07
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 23:41) *
QUOTE (Fredd @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 18:08) *
QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Sat, 8 Feb 2020 - 16:31) *
Fine by me if they dispense with the EH get-out altogether..............

A recent poster (in the Flame Pit) might point out that even the Magna Carta had something to say about not ruining people for a minor crime. biggrin.gif

Well an often quoted statistic is that 25% of some proportion (sorry I don't recall the exact metric) of totting cases result in the defendant being allowed to drive with 12+ points on their licence (I suspect Logician will be along to correct me). Something that happens in 25% of cases (no matter the metric concerned) by definition cannot be exceptional, on the contrary it sounds rather routine.

To be exceptional it should be more like 1 in every 100 or 1 in every 50 cases, not 1 in 4.

I think I'd like some evidence behind "an often quoted statistic" before believing it to be true.


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cp8759
post Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 00:21
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QUOTE (Fredd @ Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 00:07) *
I think I'd like some evidence behind "an often quoted statistic" before believing it to be true.

So would I but it gets banded around the criminal forum from time to time.


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southpaw82
post Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 11:24
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Ask Rookie.


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The Rookie
post Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 18:02
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The 25% was calculated some time ago based on DVLA data on the number of people still permitted to drive with 12 or more points on their licence (assuming a successful EH argument is the only way that would happen bar a small number of cases where they had been awarded points for the offence but not yet had a disqualification hearing), versus numbers disqualified.

It is quite old now as I’ve not seen any newer data to recalculate it based on, so old data is better than no data.

That data gave a result that suggested 25% of totting cases ended with a successful EH plea, it doesn’t say how many made no plea or had it rejected.

I agree that 1/4 seems a rather ‘generous’ interpretation of exceptional, but unless you hear a large number of pleas to create a ‘hardship distribution curve’ it’s impossible to say if it’s being ‘wrongly applied’ or not. It’s quite possible the distribution curve is not at all similar to a standard curve and may be very lopsided or even a double peak with a large flat area close to zero in between making of cases notably exceptional. Though I suspect not.


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cp8759
post Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 22:58
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 9 Feb 2020 - 18:02) *
I agree that 1/4 seems a rather ‘generous’ interpretation of exceptional, but unless you hear a large number of pleas to create a ‘hardship distribution curve’ it’s impossible to say if it’s being ‘wrongly applied’ or not. It’s quite possible the distribution curve is not at all similar to a standard curve and may be very lopsided or even a double peak with a large flat area close to zero in between making of cases notably exceptional. Though I suspect not.

I'm not sure how distribution curves are relevant and I doubt it would be practical to collect enough data for this sort of quantitative analysis. A rough and ready measure might be that EH pleas should succeed as often as applications for indemnity costs succeed in the civil courts, i.e. hardly ever. An EH case should be, by definition, outside of the norm. If there's any truth in the 1 in 4 statistic, it seems likely the wrong test is being applied.


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The Rookie
post Mon, 10 Feb 2020 - 04:52
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I wasn't disagreeing, I was just trying to express that just being 1/4 doesn't 'prove' it's being wrongly applied, but is certainly a strong suggestion.
QUOTE
An EH case should be, by definition, outside of the norm.

I'd suggest it should be significantly (or exceptionally) outside the norm!

I do have some liking for the dutch system where drivers can be disqualified from all driving except daily commuting mon-fri, the disqualification is longer and still punishes discretionary use, but it removes the 'loss of job and loss of home' issue.


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jdh
post Mon, 10 Feb 2020 - 10:25
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I'd go for a rethink of the whole range of punishments. For example if an EH plea is accepted because the driver is a carer then put them on a restricted licence for 6months so they can only drive in relation to that person. Rural drivers who need to do the school run then OK, permitted to drive to do that but nothing else. EH because it would adversely affect employees, OK you can only drive for business purposes not social. It would be similar to the insurance restrictions.
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666
post Mon, 10 Feb 2020 - 11:49
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QUOTE (jdh @ Mon, 10 Feb 2020 - 10:25) *
I'd go for a rethink of the whole range of punishments. For example if an EH plea is accepted because the driver is a carer then put them on a restricted licence for 6months so they can only drive in relation to that person. Rural drivers who need to do the school run then OK, permitted to drive to do that but nothing else. EH because it would adversely affect employees, OK you can only drive for business purposes not social. It would be similar to the insurance restrictions.

There's no need for the school run in most cases. If the nearest school is too far to walk, then the local authority is obliged to provide transport.
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The Rookie
post Mon, 10 Feb 2020 - 13:41
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Seriously, would you let an eight year old walk three miles to school themselves, if not that’s 12 miles/3 hours walking a day for the parent to and from.

When my sister caught the school bus the bus stop was just over half a mile away anyway, so that would still be about an hour a day (unlit country lanes).

https://www.gov.uk/free-school-transport


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