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  • Mark Salisbury

New sentencing guidelines for motoring offences set to come into effect

A comprehensive package of 12 new and revised sentencing guidelines for offenders convicted of motoring offences in England and Wales will come into effect on 1 July.

The package includes updated versions of six current guidelines – published in 2008 – and reflect new maximum sentences for some of the offences, including causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The maximum sentence for these two offences increased from 14 years to life imprisonment under legislation introduced in June 2022.

The six guidelines will be updated in line with the current, step-by-step format of sentencing guidelines now used by the courts.

The Sentencing Council has also developed three guidelines for offences of ‘causing injury by driving’.

The offences are causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by driving while disqualified, and the recently introduced offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.

Other new guidelines include causing injury by wanton or furious driving, which can be used where a cyclist causes death or injury, and driving or attempting to drive with a specified drug above the specified limit.

Lord Justice William Davis, Sentencing Council Chairman, said: “Offences committed by drivers can have serious consequences for the victims, including death or life-changing injuries and this is reflected in recent legislative changes made by parliament.

“The guidelines published today will provide judges and magistrates with up-to-date guidelines that cover the full range of these offences.”

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