Beltrami & Company Criminal Law & Glasgow Solicitors Blog
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Dangerous Driving-Will I lose my licence?
If a motorist is charged with dangerous driving under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and subsequently prosecuted and found guilty of that offence, disqualification from driving is obligatory.
However, if an individual does not receive a warning that he or she could be prosecuted for dangerous driving in terms of section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, the court in PF v David Dalgarno  HCJAC 44 held that the Crown can not proceed with a s.2 dangerous driving complaint.
I have taken a plea to the competency of a dangerous driving charge on this point on two occasions and this produced two different outcomes. Both were ultimately advantageous to the client and avoided obligatory disqualification.
On the first occasion, the charge fell completely, the Court holding that in the absence of the statutory warning, the charge was incompetent. The case dropped and ended immediately at the conclusion of the diet of debate.
On the second occasion, the charge fell but the Procurator Fiscal sought to amend the complaint to a s.3 careless driving charge before the debate ensued. Despite opposition and reference to the Dalgarno decision, the Court allowed that complaint to proceed on a section 3 careless driving charge.
The Dalgarno decision recognises the potential for this situation but does not go a stage further to confirm the route that should be taken; concluding that the charge is incompetent and ending matters there or amending the charge to the implied statutory alternative of careless driving.
In both cases, the drivers retained their licence and avoided disqualification so in spite of the different outcomes, the legal point was to the benefit of both individuals.
In the event that you are driver facing a charge of dangerous driving, contact Beltrami & Company Limited to arrange a consultation.
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