Award-winning actor and comedian Steve Coogan, famous for playing Alan Partridge in the hit series “This Time” recently avoided a six-month disqualification from driving due to the fact that he was able to demonstrate the detrimental impact it would have on the staff who work for his production company.
“The law states that the minimum period of disqualification upon reaching 12 points, sometimes referred to as a totting up ban, is 6 months unless the Court is satisfied that exceptional hardship would be caused,” explains Matthew Miller, solicitor and director of Altrincham-based motoring law specialists, Kenway Miller Solicitors.
“If exceptional hardship is found then the Court may decide to impose a shorter ban or no ban at all.”
“Loss of livelihood in itself may not be enough to persuade a Court not to disqualify unless it can be shown that the impact would be felt by other people.
“Steve Coogan would not suffer exceptional hardship on his own but the Court was persuaded that his staff would be as it would mean halting production of his new series resulting in job losses.”
According to Mr Miller, an expert in motoring offences who has focused entirely on this area for the last 15 years, avoiding a ban can present its own problems.
“Often drivers who are successful with exceptional hardship arguments are not disqualified but the penalty points stay on their licence, giving them no room for any more.
In many ways, the shorter disqualification imposed in Steve Coogan’s case was the ideal result as it means his licence was wiped clear of points.”
It wasn’t all good news for Coogan though, as the disqualification will remain visible on his DVLA driver record and the same exceptional hardship argument could not be used by him again if finds himself with 12 points again within the next three years.
The imposition of a 56-day disqualification also means that the minimum period of disqualification would be one year if he “tots up” again.
Kenway Miller Solicitors is Cheshire’s longest established motoring law specialists with experience of defending the full range of offences, such as speeding, use of phone whilst driving, careless driving and driving without insurance through to more serious offences where mandatory disqualification applies upon conviction.
Since 2011 they have helped save over 1500 driving licences from penalty points or disqualification and over 500 acquittals for all types of offences.
You can obtain a free consultation on a no-obligation basis by calling 0161 241 3322 and Kenway Miller will provide a fixed fee quote if required.