Understanding Driving Penalties in the UK

Most regular drivers will have already heard of the penalty point system which aims to penalise drivers for unsafe activity or committing driving offences whilst behind the wheel. If you have been found guilty of committing a driving offence or you have been directly or indirectly involved in a road traffic accident, it’s worth understanding exactly how it works so that you know how serious the penalty or offence is.

Below we have the details of how penalty points work, including the severity of different driving offences and what you can expect to receive as a punishment.

When do I receive penalty points on my licence?

If you commit a driving offence such as speeding, driving recklessly or driving while under the influence of alcohol, you can receive a certain amount of points or ‘endorsements’ on your driving licence. The more severe the offence, the more likely you are to receive a larger amount of points.

You can receive 3 points for a relatively minor offence and up to 11 points for a serious offence, though for many offences this amount is variable. If you accumulate over 12 points within 3 years you can receive a driving ban. This normally arises from multiple driving offences that result in disqualification for a set amount of time.

What is the penalty for dangerous driving in the UK?

Driving offences can range from relatively minor offences such as speeding, all the way up to causing death by dangerous driving, although this will further result in going to prison along with a minimum 2-year ban from driving.

In many minor offences, those who have committed driving offences can often expect to receive a fine as well, usually in between £1,000 and £2,500 although in more serious circumstances the fine can be unlimited, which means it will be set by the judge who sentences you. Here is a list of the most common offences:

  • No MOT certificate – £1,000 fine
  • Speeding – £1,000 fine and 3 to 6 points
  • Using a Mobile Phone – £1,000 fine and 6 points
  • Driving without Insurance – Unlimited fine and 6 to 8 points
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Unlimited fine or 6 months’ imprisonment, as well as 3 to 11 points if not disqualified
  • Dangerous driving – Unlimited fine or 2 years’ imprisonment, as well as 3 to 11 points if not disqualified
  • Causing death by dangerous driving – Unlimited fine or 14 years’ imprisonment, as well as 3 to 11 points, if not disqualified

How long do points stay on your licence for?

Common offences will stay on your driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence. However, if you commit a much more serious offence such as death by dangerous driving and drink driving can stay on your driving licence for 11 years.

Once again, if you accumulate more than 12 points in 3 years, you will automatically be banned from driving for a set period of time, so offenders should be mindful of multiple driving offences adding up.

Do you require more advice regarding driving offences and the expected penalties? Get in touch with DPP Law today and we can provide help and guidance on driving offences and much more.