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totting up driving bans

Totting Up Penalty Points Ban

A totting ban is when you are disqualified from driving under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. In essence this section states that if a person accumulates 12 points on their licence and all the offences occur in three years of each other (the date on which you are convicted or sentenced is irrelevant) you are liable for disqualification for a minimum period of 6 months.

If you have had a previous totting ban within the 3 years proceeding the latest offence, then the minimum period is 12 months. If you have had 2 totting bans within the proceeding 3 years, then the minimum ban is 2 years.

The only way to avoid a totting ban is to either defend the allegation against you, argue Special Reasons and try to persuade the Court not to impose penalty points and/or make an Exceptional Hardship argument.

There is no set definition over what amounts to Exceptional Hardship. The only thing that the statute says is that the Magistrates can find that in the circumstances, it would cause exceptional hardship if they were to impose the ban and mitigate the normal sentence, i.e. the 6 month ban. If the Magistrates find Exceptional Hardship, then they can agree not to disqualify you at all or impose a reduced period of disqualification.

If you have made an Exceptional Hardship argument previously within the preceding 3 years, then you cannot use the same grounds again in relation to the current proceedings.

When you make an Exceptional Hardship argument, you have to give evidence on oath and support your argument with documentary evidence. The Court Clerk will record the grounds that you put forward and these will be entered on the Court Register. This is to stop you making an argument based on the same grounds within the following 3 years.

There is no set definition of what amounts to Exceptional Hardship but the Magistrates will normally consider the impact that any such disqualification will have on those who rely upon you. Therefore it will be that you deserve to be punished because you have accumulated 12 points within a 3 year period and that punishment inevitably involves hardship. However, they will be more willing to consider the impact that any such disqualification would have on those who rely upon you in light of the fact that those people have not committed any offences themselves.

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Are you at risk of a ban from driving? Are you about to accumulate 12 points within a three year period?

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