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uncletom6 | 20:16 Sun 20th Mar 2022 | Motoring
18 Answers
My friends son was taken to the police station as caught speeding. Unmarked police car which ended up with the copper radioing another copper to put a barrier in the road to stop him. He was taken to the police station and cautioned. Took his dna and fingerprints etc. They took his dashcam which the son told the police that the footage would have been cleared as he pressed the button??? He says he had a bit of banter with the police asking if he wanted a job in an unmarked police car! After an hour and a half he was released with 'we have up to 6 months to prosecute if we wish to do so'. On the way out he picked up his dashcam and the police didn't say anything. Even though her son was acting cocky we could tell this has quite rightly petrified him.
What are his chances of being prosecuted? The boys from England but this happened in Wales.


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If he was cautioned and accepted the caution, the matter is disposed of
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Hi, not sure if i termed that correctly. He was interviewed, is that the same as a caution.
//If he was cautioned and accepted the caution, the matter is disposed of...//

Depends on your interpretation of "cautioned."

I read it as "You're not obliged to say anything, but it may harm your defence....etc."

This does not seem a simple matter of speeding. Drivers caught speeding are not arrested, taken to the nick, fingerprinted, DNA'd, etc. Since they had difficulty stopping him (to the extent that a barrier was required) it sound more like an episode of dangerous driving. He will have to wait to see what action, if any, the police take. From your description of the event I would be surprised if they take no action at all.
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Yes they did say You're not obliged to say anything, but it may harm your defence....etc."

Could this be a prisonable offence?
From your description, the likely offences are speeding, careless driving and dangerous driving with my money on dangerous driving. I base that on your description of the event and the fact that he was arrested. Speeding and Careless do not carry a custodial sentence. Dangerous Driving is an indictable offence which carries a maximum sentence of two years' custody. It also carries a mandatory minimum disqualification of twelve months, followed by a compulsory extended re-test.
>>> He was interviewed, is that the same as a caution

No. I'm not sure that the possibility of a caution is relevant here anyway. If the guy was told that there were 6 months for the CPS to lay charges before a court then, clearly, he can't have been cautioned for the offence.

I can't help wondering here about whether the guy has been entirely truthful when relating his account of the events to his mother. It's highly unusual for someone to be arrested, and taken to a police station, for speeding alone. Speeding is usually dealt with by a fixed penalty notice which (in situations where the police have stopped a vehicle) is simply handed to a driver at the roadside. Even when the vehicle's speed is so excessive that court action is deemed necessary, the driver is normally sent a letter through the post, rather than being arrested.

Other relatively minor motoring offences are also generally dealt with in a similar manner:

For a driver to be arrested, there would normally have to be something else involved, such as a suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, having no tax and or insurance, etc. It all seems very odd to me!

However, if we assume for the moment that there really was nothing more than speeding involved, I suspect that a driver would need to be substantially over the speed limit in order to get arrested. In such a case the police (together with the CPS) might need time to consider whether to simply issue a 'notice of intended prosecution' (which has an option to pay a fixed penalty and accept points on one's licence) or to go straight to a prosecution in court. Either way, the driver can expect something unpleasant to arrive in the post!
My posts have crossed with NJ's.

>>> with my money on dangerous driving

As the police have indicated that they have a maximum of 6 months in which to commence proceedings, does that perhaps rule out 'dangerous driving' though, NJ, as I thought that the 6 month time limit on the laying of charges only applied to non-indictable offences?
No Notice of Intended Prosecution is required, Chris. He has been warned verbally he may be prosecuted.

Fixed penalties for speeding are not determined or issued by individual officers at the roadside. They are all now determined by a "back office" acting on the officer's report.

But I agree, this seems something more than simple speeding. Speeding drivers just don't get arrested unless something more serious is suspected. The fact that the officer needed assistance to bring the miscreant to a halt suggests an episode of "bad driving" to me.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 'failing to stop' charge in there too.

His insurance is going to go up!
Yes there's no time limit on prosecuting a DD offence. However, individual police officers, especially those more used to dealing with minor traffic matters, may not be too well versed with the niceties of the law. It's probably usual for them to offer this information when saying goodbye to their guests. I would not take it as any indication that they have decided that a lesser charge will be laid. In fact I doubt that decision has been taken yet. Since a serious, imprisonable offence may be considered, the police will leave the decision to the CPS.
Question Author
Found out now that the reason why they arrested him was because he had a joint with a friend 12 hours before, to which he admitted at the roadside. He offered that info
So they may have suspected him of driving whilst over the prescribed limit for a controlled drug?
Since using drugs isn't, per se, an offence, he must then have been arrested either on suspicion of being in possession of a Class B substance or, probably far more likely (based upon what you've told us), for driving while under the influence of cannabis.

While traces of cannabis can actually remain present in someone's body for quite some considerable time (even up to a month in some cases), the level required to fail a roadside saliva test usually only exists for around 12 hours. I suspect that's what happened here.

Failing a drug-driving test can result in a prison sentence (of up to 6 months) but, just as with drink-driving, custodial sentences tend only to be used where there are exacerbating circumstances, such as repeat offenders or dangerous driving. However it always results in a driving ban (for a minimum of 12 months) and a criminal record, usually together with a fine. It also results in an endorsement to the driver's licence, which remains in place for 11 years. When the driver does eventually get his licence back, he can expect to have to pay far more for his car insurance for many years to come. (Some companies simply refuse to insure people with drug-driving convictions).
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Let’s hope his drug test comes back negative. He said he had the one and it was a good 12 hours prior to driving. He also said the unmarked car had no front camera.
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It wasn’t a roadside saliva test. It was a blood test taken at the station
//He also said the unmarked car had no front camera.//

Very observant of him - but it makes absolutely no difference to anything. Convictions for motoring offences wee secured long before police cars were equipped with cameras.

Just as an aside, the roadside tests (be they saliva or breath) are not evidential tests. They are simply screening tests to establish whether there is reason to suspect that the driver is over the drink or drugs limit. The evidential test (that is, the one used to provide evidence to a court to support a prosecution) is carried by either on more sophisticated equipment back at the nick or by way of a blood or urine test taken from a sample obtained at the nick.
If they had to put a barrier up in the road, then it sounds like he failed to stop when requested on the blues. Unmarked police cars have blue lights, but are undetectable until switched on. So it sound like a failed to stop. I believe the latter is an offence in its self?

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