9. Disqualification from driving – general power

Guideline users should be aware that the Equal Treatment Bench Book covers important aspects of fair treatment and disparity of outcomes for different groups in the criminal justice system. It provides guidance which sentencers are encouraged to take into account wherever applicable, to ensure that there is fairness for all involved in court proceedings.

The court may disqualify any person convicted of an offence from driving for such period as it thinks fit (Sentencing Code, s.163). This may be instead of or in addition to dealing with the offender in any other way.

The section does not require the offence to be connected to the use of a vehicle. The Court of Appeal has held that the power is available as part of the overall punitive element of a sentence, and the only restrictions on the exercise of the power are those in the statutory provision (R v Cliff [2004] EWCA Crim 3139).