Tougher Sentencing Guidelines for Dangerous Driving Offences

Over the weekend, the press has widely reported on increases to sentences involving the most serious cases of causing death by dangerous or careless driving.

The maximum penalty could now be a life sentence for those convicted effectively sentencing on an equivalent to Manslaughter.

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Public consultation

The changes follow previous criticism that the statute limited sentences for those convicted over road deaths had been too lenient, where there were aggravating features involved such as the driver being under the influence of drink/drugs, driving at excessive speed, racing or using a mobile phone.

Following a public consultation last year, 70% of those questioned were in favour of the new sentence increases which will see;

Death by Dangerous Driving increasing from the current 14 years maximum up to life imprisonment, and Death by Careless Driving increasing from 5 years to 14 years, if alcohol or drugs are involved.

A new offence of Causing Serious Injury through Careless Driving is also going to be introduced to fill a significant gap that currently exists within the law for such offences.