Failing to name a driver has serious consequences, ranging from six penalty points to a discretionary disqualification. You could even be accused of perverting the course of justice.
To avoid these pitfalls, you must show that you genuinely do not know who was driving your vehicle at the time of an alleged offence – and that you cannot reasonably be expected to find out. Or, you must prove there is some other reason that exonerates you.
Motoring defence lawyers Leeds
Have you been accused of failing to name the driver? Contact our motoring defence lawyers for expert legal advice.
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Naming the driver
When a vehicle is caught committing a motoring offence, or is involved in an accident, the owner typically receives a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) through the post. The owner then has 28 days to respond.
As part of this response, the owner must confirm who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence. As the owner, you have a legal obligation to comply with the request. Otherwise, you could be charged with failing to disclose the identity of a driver.
Consequences of failing to name the driver
Failing to disclose the identity of a driver to the police is a serious offence. In fact, it carries up to six penalty points and a maximum fine of £1,000. The court even has the discretion to disqualify you.
Having your licence endorsed with six penalty points is significant. If you are a new driver, your licence will be revoked and you will have to take your test again. Even if you are not a new driver, six points could push you over the 12 point limit, resulting in a topping up ban.
These consequences are severe, especially when you consider that most speeding offences carry just three points. For a first offence, you may even be invited to attend a speed awareness course.
If the police suspect that you are lying about the driver’s identity, you could also be accused of perverting the course of justice. This can lead to a custodial sentence.
Reasons for failing to name the driver
However, you may have a valid excuse for failing to name the driver.
Firstly, you may not know who was driving at the time of the alleged offence. When this happens, you must try to find out through ‘reasonable diligence’. If this is not successful, you must not guess. Instead, the onus is on you to prove to the court that you have tried to discover the driver’s identity to no avail.
Secondly, it may not have been reasonably practicable for you to disclose the driver’s identity within the allocated time. For example, it could be that the police sent the NIP to your old address, even though you updated your records with DVLA. (If you did not update your address with DVLA, the police will say that fault lies with you).
Whatever the circumstances, you must establish that there is a valid reason why you have not, or cannot, name the driver. Otherwise, the court may uphold the charges. That is why it is essential to have the support of an experienced legal team.
Motoring defence lawyers Leeds
If you have been accused of failing to name the driver, speak to our motoring defence lawyers. We can help you avoid the pitfalls of failing to disclose the identity of a driver.
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