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Q912: What is dangerous driving?


Answer

You can commit the offence of dangerous driving in one of two ways, either because:

  • the standard of your driving is very poor, or
  • your vehicle is in very bad condition

In relation to the standard of your driving, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that you will be regarded as driving dangerously if:

  • the way you drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
  • it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

It will be a matter for a court to decide whether your driving has fallen 'far below' the required standard but 'dangerous' refers to a danger of personal injury or of serious damage to property.

In relation to the condition of your vehicle, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous. The defects/condition must be able to be seen at first glance, otherwise they cannot be 'obvious'. However, if you drive knowing your vehicle has a serious defect, even if it is hidden, you can still commit the offence of dangerous driving.

Related questions


Answer

The only safe limit of alcohol to have in your blood and drive is zero!

It is not advisable to even have one drink and drive as alcohol impairs your judgement and lessens your reflexes. The official amount of alcohol is 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath reading, this cannot be translated into an exact amount of units as it depends on many factors, height and weight, the time when last drink was consumed etc, so the best advice is not to drink at all or to order a taxi.


Answer

You should report the person to the police or if you wish to do so anonymously via Crimestoppers (Please see the Crimestoppers website in Related Information). The information that the police require before they can act is the registration number of the vehicle involved, the person's name, description and if possible the address and details of any regular journeys that this person makes e.g. every Thursday night at approximately 2330hrs B leaves the pub and drives the same route home.

With the information you have provided, the police can then potentially wait for the vehicle somewhere along that route to stop the car.


Answer

There are three offences that you could possibly be charged with:

  • Drive a motor vehicle whilst over the permitted limit (OPL)
  • Attempt to drive a motor vehicle whilst OPL
  • In charge of a motor vehicle whilst OPL.

The third option may be the most relevant. You must show that there is no likelihood of you driving whilst you are over the limit, otherwise you will commit this offence.

It would depend on the circumstances in which you were found by the police that would determine which if any of the above charges would apply.

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Answer

Sucking a copper coin or chewing gum will have no effect whatsoever on the breath test machine or on the results.

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Answer

Yes, there is an offence of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst being over the permitted limit. Each case would be judged on its own merits but the officers would be looking at

  • whether you had the keys for the vehicle
  • were you in the vehicle at the time
  • what were you doing at the time
  • whether there was anyone else in or near the vehicle
  • what evidence is there that you were intending to drive the vehicle

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Question

Q912: What is dangerous driving?


Answer

You can commit the offence of dangerous driving in one of two ways, either because:

  • the standard of your driving is very poor, or
  • your vehicle is in very bad condition

In relation to the standard of your driving, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that you will be regarded as driving dangerously if:

  • the way you drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
  • it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

It will be a matter for a court to decide whether your driving has fallen 'far below' the required standard but 'dangerous' refers to a danger of personal injury or of serious damage to property.

In relation to the condition of your vehicle, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous. The defects/condition must be able to be seen at first glance, otherwise they cannot be 'obvious'. However, if you drive knowing your vehicle has a serious defect, even if it is hidden, you can still commit the offence of dangerous driving.


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