Road Traffic Act 1988
At Parnell and Peel, we strongly believe in empowering you by providing you with all the pertaining information regarding your case to paint the clearest picture of the landscape of your case. We understand how taxing it is frantically searching for answers and being greeted with dense legislation, hence we have curated these simple guides to help demystify the legal complexities of your case. We aim to help you understand your rights, obligations, and the necessary steps to take to progress your case further into a favourable outcome.
What is the road traffic act?
In simple terms, the Road Traffic Act is a piece of legislation passed on January 1st 1988 with the aim of setting out various rules for motorists. Now the Road Traffic Act is quite a broad act and covers many provisions some key ones and there penalties being :
|Using a phone whilst driving.
You can't use a phone or other handheld device while driving, even if you're stationary or at a red light.
|Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 – Regulation 110
You must obey the speed limits set at all times .
|Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – Section 81, 86
Driving without due care and attention behaviours such as :
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 3
|Severe offence where the motorist falls below the minimum expected driving behaviour.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 2
Driving over the prescribed alcohol limit.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 5
|Drunk in Charge
|Being over the limit while in control of a vehicle but not necessarily driving it.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 4(2)
|Driving while intoxicated by controlled or legal substances.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 5A
|Failure to Provide a Sample
|Refusing to provide an evidential sample for alcohol or drug testing without a reasonable excuse.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 7
|Driving Without Insurance
|Driving Without Insurance
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 143
|Driving While Disqualified
|Driving a vehicle while disqualified from driving.
|Road Traffic Act 1988 – Section 103
Section 5 Road Traffic Act
Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act is the most important provision we will be looking at regarding Drink Driving and Drug Driving, within the act the limits for consumption are outlined, and the penalties for being over the threshold. Section 5 states the following :
“it is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with a concentration of alcohol in the breath, blood, or urine exceeding the prescribed limit. It specifies the limits for alcohol concentration in each of these bodily substances.”
Section 5 also covers the use of breath test results and their admissibility as evidence that can be provided by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Breakdown of Section 5
Section 5 RTA 1988 - Driving or being in charge with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit
Here the act outlines driving above the prescribed limit as a criminal offence but also on the other hand provides a defence as if the driver can prove that they were not under the influence whilst driving they will face no charges. If you would like more information on defending a Drink Driving disqualification please don't hesitate to contact us at: 0330 341 1690.
Section 5A RTA 1988 - Driving or being in charge with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit
Similarly to driving over the prescribed alcohol limit here the act outlines driving or being in charge of a vehicle whilst having a controlled substance in one's system as a criminal offence.
Click here to find a list of all controlled drugs
If you have been charged with Drug Driving and would like more information on your options and the necessary steps in order to avoid a disqualification please don't hesitate to contact us at 0330 341 1690 for a free initial consultation.
Blood or Urine?
Section 5 also details whether the sample specified should be blood or urine but as there are no drug limits prescribed for urine then blood is used by the police in the procedure. If you fail to provide a sample you will be charged with failure to provide unless a valid reason is provided.
There are currently 17 drugs listed in the related Drug Driving (Specified Limits) and the levels have been set in the regulations. Limits have been decided by a panel of experts. Please note that although the limits are unforgivingly low they are not zero tolerance and take into account accident exposure.
Section 4 RTA 1988
Driving/Attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit
In this subsect of the act, it is made an offence to drive or attempt to drive whilst being unfit due to alcohol or drugs, even if you are well within the prescribed limit if the CPS can prove that you were impaired due to consumption you will be charged.
Section 6 RTA 1988
Preliminary Impairment Testing
A constable is given the authority to conduct the first exams under Section 6 of the RTA 1988. Preliminary breath tests, preliminary tests for driving while intoxicated, and preliminary tests for drug use are all covered under Sections 6A, 6B, and 6C of the RTA of 1988. In relation to the administration of preliminary tests, Sections 6D and 6E of the RTA of 1988 contain provisions for the right to arrest and the right to enter.
The preliminary tests include:
a breath test
an impairment test
a drug test
Section 7 RTA 1988
Request to provide a sample at police stations
When requested at a police station, the motorist is legally required to produce a sample for testing under Section 7 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988. This clause gives police the authority to request a breath, blood, or urine sample for examination from a motorist they suspect of committing a traffic offence. The section describes the procedure that must be taken by the police officers in order to obtain an evidential sample.When requesting a specimen, a constable is required to warn the motorist providing a statutory warning that if the individual fails to provide they will be charged with failure to provide.
Above we have compiled a brief guide on the necessary knowledge of the Road Traffic Act required in regard to your drink/drug driving offence. At Parnell and Peel, we have a well-established track record of dealing with a multitude of scenarios in respect of drink and drug driving. With our decades of firsthand experience and team of specialist motoring solicitors, we will ensure you are provided with the most advantageous outcome in your motoring offence.
Contact us now for a free initial consultation.
"I was charged with Drink Driving, and the case looked hopeless, Abdul reassured me, and the CPS offered no Evidence. Abdul is certainly an Expert in Drink Driving and his handling of the case was outstanding"
"I was charged with drink driving and my case looked hopeless. There was witness evidence and forensic evidence. From my first meeting with Abdul he reassured me that we could win the case. Abdul was fantastic and the end result is that I am a happy man as I have kept my driving licence and my job."
"I would like to thank Abdul for his support and professionalism through a difficult phase in our lives.The outcome was the best of what we could have hoped for and would recommend your service to others if needed."
"After an extremely stressful 4 months I am delighted with the outcome . Abdul represented me through-out and was always there to support me when the panic took over and delivered what was discussed at our very first meeting. I cannot thank Abdul enough for all his hard work and helping me keep my driving licence. , I wouldn’t hesitate recommending them to friends and family. Many Thanks."
"I am grateful to Abdul and team. I have avoided conviction for failure to provide despite what seemed to be overwhelming case against me. I am absolutely delighted as my driving licence was everything and I stood on the verge of losing everything. Keep up the good work ."