Habitual offenders

The Habitual Offender Scheme provides penalties to people who repeatedly commit serious offences.

Under this scheme:

  • Drivers who are found guilty of 3 serious offences (as defined in a list) within 5 years will be declared a 'habitual offender' by the courts
  • They will be disqualified from driving for 5 years unless a court rules otherwise (minimum 2 years). This will be in addition to any disqualification resulting from the third major offence
  • The court may order a longer period of disqualification, including disqualification for life
  • There is no right of appeal against an additional disqualification period imposed for being declared a habitual traffic offender
  • The court may also, at the time of conviction, or at a later time, quash the declaration if it determines that the disqualification imposed is disproportionate and unjust having regard to the total driving record of the person or special circumstances of the case.

For the purpose of the Habitual Offenders Scheme, serious offences include a major offence referred to in section 205 of the Road Transport Act 2013.

For example:

  • Where a vehicle is involved, the crime of murder or manslaughter or an offence under the Crimes Act 1900
  • Driving at a dangerous speed or in a dangerous manner, driving recklessly, or at speed or in a dangerous manner while engaged in a police pursuit
  • Furious driving, reckless driving, menacing driving
  • Negligent driving where death or grievous bodily harm is occasioned
  • Drink and drug driving offences
  • Fail to stop and give assistance in an accident involving death or injury
  • Driving whilst disqualified, cancelled, suspended or refused
  • A conviction for an offence of exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h
  • A conviction for unlicensed, never licensed.
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