Drunk Driving – Shortness Of Distance Argument

Is it possible to defend a drink driving allegation on the basis of special reasons and a shortness of distance argument?


Firstly I would like to say your web site is great and it’s good to see that your making a challenge against the extraordinary erosion of one of the few civil liberties I never thought would be attempted by even the most vile of British Governments that of the right to a qualified legal defence.

My story is this I’ve started the proceedings to try and avoid disqualification on the bases of shortness of distance. I have spoken briefly to a solicitor who has told me that my case does fit the seven set criteria that allow me to be considered for such a hearing however it does not look as though I will qualify for legal aid.

I might be able to get the money together so as I can have a solicitor for just the hearing but even this will be difficult so I may have to represent myself.

My question is this is there anywhere that I can get any advice on proceedings and questions that I need to ask or points I need to get across etc… or how would you feel the best way for me to proceed is.

Dominic Says:

This could be what is called a special reason.

A special reasons argument is where somebody is guilty of an offence but argues in courts that there are special reasons for not disqualifying or for reducing the period of disqualification. It is specific to road traffic offences, it does not cover every area of law.

There were multiple special reasons argument available across all types of road traffic offences, for example if your drink was laced with alcohol without you knowing, or if an insurance company cancelled your insurance policy without telling you meaning you were driving without insurance. In your case it would be a special reasons argument based on the shortest of the distance driven.

In the case of Chatters –v- Burke the Divisional Court held that in order to amount to a Special Reason seven criteria must be considered, which are: –

  1. How far the vehicle was driven;
  2. In what manner it was driven;
  3. The state of the vehicle;
  4. Whether the driver intended to go further;
  5. The road and traffic conditions prevailing at the time;
  6. If there was a possibility of danger by coming into contact with other road users or pedestrians;
  7. What the reason was for the car being driven.

So you will need to go through each criteria one by one to determine whether or not you have a good argument. The most important ones here are how far the vehicle was driven, in that realistically we are looking at yards rather than miles, whether there was possibility of coming into contact with other pedestrians or road users, and whether the driver intended to go further.

If you think you have an argument then by all means call us and we can offer free initial legal advice. We can assist you in entering the correct play with the courts, getting the matter listed for the correct purpose and preparing our evidence to support our case.

Moving Car To Car Park!


My son was charged with drink driving his reading was 54 he was caught moving car from a main road to a car park at 5 am in the morning so he would not get a parking ticket there was no other traffic about the police were behind him for less than a minute before he was arrested and breathalyzed.

He needs his licence to be able to work because he drives all over the country. On the same day he had an offer accepted on a property and his mortgage application was approved. If he loses his job he will have to pull out of the purchase.

Your advice would be appreciated

Dominic Says:

That’s a real shame. The only way he is going to avoid a ban for 12 months is if he defends the matter or if he shows the court that there are special reasons based on the shortness of distance driven. Do you know roughly how far he drove when moving car to car park?

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