7 July 2022
Motoring offences: Consultation
A consultation paper on the sentencing of motoring offences.
This consultation closed on 29 September 2022.
What was this consultation about?
The Sentencing Council consulted on drafts of 12 new and revised sentencing guidelines for motoring offences.
The existing sentencing guidelines for motoring offences were published in 2008 by the Sentencing Guidelines Council, the Sentencing Council’s predecessor body. As such, they do not follow the current format of guideline that is familiar to the courts and are due for review.
In addition the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022 has raised the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years’ custody to life imprisonment. There are also new offences which have been created since the current guidelines were published, most recently under the PCSC Act the offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. The Council believes that these sentencing guidelines would be helpful for these newer offences.
The full list of offences covered by the consultation was:
- causing death by dangerous driving;
- causing death by careless driving;
- causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs;
- causing death by driving whilst disqualified;
- causing death by driving whilst unlicensed or uninsured;
- dangerous driving;
- causing serious injury by dangerous driving;
- causing serious injury by careless driving;
- causing serious injury by driving whilst disqualified;
- causing injury by wanton or furious driving;
- driving or attempting to drive with a specified drug above the specified limit; and
- being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified drug above the specified limit
Who was asked to respond?
The Council sought views from anyone who uses sentencing guidelines in their work or who has an interest in sentencing. We also sought views from individuals and organisations representing anyone who could be affected by the proposals including:
- victims and their families;
- defendants and their families;
- those under probation supervision or youth offending teams/supervision;
- those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
What did we want to know?
Through this consultation process, the Council sought views on:
- the principal factors that make any of the offences included within the draft guidelines more or less serious;
- the additional factors that should influence the sentence;
- the types and lengths of sentence that should be passed;
- information to include on guidance on how to approach disqualification
- whether there are any issues relating to disparity of sentencing and/or broader matters relating to equality and diversity that the guidelines could and should address; and
- anything else you think should be considered.