3. ‘Totting up’ disqualification

Disqualification for a minimum of six months must be ordered if an offender incurs 12 penalty points or more within a three-year period (Road Traffic Offenders Act (“RTOA”) 1988, s.35). The minimum period may be automatically increased if the offender has been disqualified within the preceding three years. Totting up disqualifications, unlike other disqualifications, erase all penalty points.

The period of a totting up disqualification may be reduced or avoided for exceptional hardship or other mitigating circumstances if the court thinks fit to do so. No account is to be taken of hardship that is not exceptional hardship or circumstances alleged to make the offence not serious. Any circumstances taken into account in the preceding three years to reduce or avoid a totting disqualification must be disregarded (RTOA 1988, s.35).

Consult your legal adviser for further guidance on minimum periods and exceptional hardship applications.