Tougher sentences for banned drivers not applicable to NI

By Neil Logan

The government has announced new tougher sentences for disqualified drivers who cause death on the roads, and the creation of a new offence of causing serious injury while banned, however the changes will not apply to Northern Ireland.

The new changes include a 10 year prison sentence for a disqualified driver who causes death on the roads, up from the current punishment which is a 2 year prison sentence. It is though the changes will be implemented at the start of 2015, and they will apply to England, Wales and Scotland only. Traffic offences in Northern Ireland are covered under separate regional legislation which largely mirrors the counterpart laws in the rest of the UK, but for now there has been no announcement on whether similar changes will be brought in.

The government considers that the current sentencing options for disqualified drivers are not sufficient to act as a deterrent, with 8,200 drivers convicted for ignoring bans in 2012. Justice secretary Chris Grayling said the new changes should send "a clear message" that "those who choose to defy a ban imposed by a court and go on to destroy innocent lives must face serious consequences for the terrible impact of their actions."

If you require legal advice from a solicitor in Northern Ireland specialising in motoring offences, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 0546.