Home > Driver Offences > Lifetime Driving Bans in the UK

Lifetime Driving Bans in the UK

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 17 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
Lifetime Driving Bans Traffic Offences

Lifetime driving bans are usually given for the most serious driving offences. This can include causing death by dangerous driving, an offence that can also result in a prison sentence.

Dangerous Driving and Disqualifications

Dangerous driving is one of the most serious traffic offences. The definition of Dangerous Driving under the law is a driver who drives well below the acceptable standards expected of a competent driver. It may be the case that the driver has committed a dangerous driving offence even though they think they are driving carefully. Dangerous drivers can be prosecuted in the Magistrate’s Courts or even the Crown Courts. The penalties and punishments given for dangerous driving do reflect the seriousness of this crime.

Lifetime Bans and Dangerous Driving

Lifetime bans are rare but can be imposed by the courts. Prison sentences for drivers who cause injury by dangerous driving can be up to two years. The maximum prison sentence for anyone who causes death by dangerous driving is 14 years. The minimum compulsory driving disqualification for dangerous driving is 12 months. There has been an outcry for these punishments to be increased, especially for those who cause death or injury by dangerous driving. There are guidelines that magistrates must follow, and on rare occasions judges have imposed lifetime driving bans.

Lifetime Ban for Dangerous Driving Example

A case tried by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK found a driver guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. Dennis Putz was over the legal Drink Driving limit and talking on his mobile phone when he ran over Catriona Patel causing her death. Mr Putz was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to seven years in jail. The judge also imposed a lifetime driving ban for Mr Putz. Putz, who previously had 20 driving disqualifications, also had three drink driving convictions and three reckless driving convictions.

Why A Lifetime Ban May be Imposed

A lifetime ban can be imposed if the courts consider the driver to be a threat to others. It could also be the case that the driver is likely to re-offend. Drivers who are disqualified many times and continue to drive when disqualified can face lifetime driving bans. But these disqualifications can also come with prison sentences and hefty fines, especially for drivers who ignore the disqualification and continue to drive.

Penalty Points and Lifetime Driving Bans

It is not unheard of for magistrates to impose lifetime bans on the basis of penalty points. Penalty Points can stay on a drivers licence for up to 11 years for offences such as causing death. Most other offences that incur penalty points will stay on a licence for four years. Certain offences such as speeding that would usually result in penalty points can actually result in disqualifications. Continually speeding after previous convictions can lead the magistrates to imposing a lifetime driving ban.

UK Driving Disqualification Offences

Although lifetime driving bans are rare there are still traffic offences that come with short and long term driving disqualifications including:

  • Drink driving offences usually come with 12 to 36 months obligatory driving bans
  • 12 or more penalty points within a three year period will mean an automatic driving disqualification of at least 6 months
  • New drivers with six or more points within two years of passing a test will be disqualified
  • Failure to provide a specimen to the police comes with an obligatory driving ban
  • Dangerous driving comes with an obligatory or compulsory driving ban
  • Careless driving comes with a discretionary driving ban
  • Speeding offences can result in discretionary driving bans
  • Driving without car insurance can come with a discretionary driving ban
  • Traffic light offences can come with a discretionary driving ban
Although rare, lifetime driving bans are not unheard of. Lifetime driving bans will likely be considered by the courts if a driver has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. It will come under the courts discretion whether or not to impose a lifetime ban depending on the serious nature of the driving offence.

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[Add a Comment]
Anyone who drinks and drives or kills while driving under the influence should never be allowed to drive again! EVER! You people asking when you can get your license back and get your life ‘back on track’ are a joke! YOU KILLED SOMEONE WITH YOUR STUPIDITY, WHY WOULD THEY LET YOU BACK ON THE ROAD!
Dr. Watson - 17-Oct-17 @ 1:42 PM
If you were banned for less than 4 years, you can apply after 2 years. If you were banned for between 4 and 10 years, you can apply when you have served half of the ban. If you were banned for 10 years or more, or for life, you can apply after 5 years.
trippinback - 17-Apr-16 @ 11:12 PM
Life time driving bans are just that.However, you may be able to apply to the Crown Court of court that disqualified you for permission to Appeal your driving ban out of time.This will be expensive as Legal Aid would not cover you for this.If you were to be given your licence back you would again be a provisional driver and be required to take an extended test.Any further offences with regard to driving would render your licence to again be revoked and it be highly unlikely you would ever get it back.Insurance to drive following a lifetime may be impossible to get too.
trippinback - 17-Apr-16 @ 11:07 PM
I recieved a life time ban 3 years ago for a bike crash which was off road but was a public foot path wear i nearly died me self this was coming off the back end of a death by dangerous drive when would i be able to apply back for a licence if i can get 1 ?
the monk - 19-Mar-16 @ 2:14 PM
STOCKS - 12-Feb-16 @ 8:25 PM
Nobody with a lifetime ban will drive again, you have been stripped of your right to drive forever. Your driving has caused untold misery to others and have significantly contributed to negitive statistics that increase costs for all. Your convictions will in time be shared amoungst the rest of the European Union and applied amoungst all member states. Within the next 20 years these details will be shared amongst the whole western hemisphere. You guys are never going to drive again, and thank god.
Dr Sharpen - 22-Nov-15 @ 5:54 PM
I was given a life ban about 10 years ago and i havent comitted any driven charges since but was in trouble 4 years ago for somthing els not car or road related.when orif i can at all can i apply for a liecence again.
Ralphy Deasley - 30-Oct-15 @ 12:31 PM
Hi I got disqualified from driving for 6 month on 18 August ban will be lifted now I got another court hearing because I got caught twice in 2 days and the second time I just received the letter from court to attend i m alreDy disqualified my question is what further punishment court can give me as I don't want to get ban another time seeking for professional advice plz
Jawas - 29-Jun-15 @ 3:11 AM
I was given a life driving ban 4 years ago but have been stopped drinking for some time now and in recovery. How long shoud I be in recovery before appealing for my driving licence be restored to me?
filsk1t - 16-Apr-14 @ 12:53 PM
I have 3point my lincenceI pass traficlight and 60 pound fine . I just want to know how many years to get clear my 3 point
Bari - 6-Aug-13 @ 3:31 AM
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