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Motoring Offence: Driving without Due Care And Attention

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xlouise17x | 13:11 Wed 17th Dec 2008 | Motoring
9 Answers
Hey.

Back in August I caused a collision from falling asleep at the wheel. I was tired when leaving my mums to drive home but about 3/4 of the way home it suddenly hit me and felt exretemly sleepy but was only 10 mins from home and thought I would be alright.

I drifted to the other side of the road and hit an oncoming car. She said she was beeping but I only heard the one beep and don't remember much after that.

The other woman was ok, complaned her knee hurt but admitted it was an ongoing problem.

I was questioned by the police in the ambulance and because I felt so bad and annoyed with myself as I could have killed someone I told them exactly what had happened.

Both cars where a write off.

A few weeks later I received a letter asking me to fill out a witness statement within a 7 day time frame which I did. Months later I still not heard anything so I decided to chase up the police as my insurance will not pay out until the police wrote a report. I then discovered that the other driver had not done her witness statement.

I am now waiting for a summons as I have to go to court for driving without due care and attention. I am worried as I have only had my licence for 1 year 4 months at the time. I got advice from a solicitor who has mentioned that I could get up to �5000 fine which I cant pay!! He also said it could be classed as dangerous driving and could go to prison!

Im real scared and don't know what to do!

How much are the court fees going to be as well?

Please help.

Louise (age 19)

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I'm sorry to say - but please let this be a lesson to you - yes you could have killed someone. Then you would be facing a prison sentence!
I doubt they will imprison you based on the facts above - but I am not an expert on law I'm afraid.
With regards to the fine - you will have to pay it but you will be able to agree a payment plan of what is affordable and you will have to prove your outgoings.
I would opt for a hefty fine and points if I were you as if you plead absolute poverty and cannot pay a fine at all they may give you a sentence instead. There has to be a penalty for what you did I'm afraid. Just be glad no-one was seriously hurt!
Hi Louise, you sound genuinely upset and repentant about what you have done and I am sure that will be taken into account. Do not let this ruin your life, it will pass and you will learn from it. Try and get on with your life and career, all experiences make you stronger. All the worry in the world will not do any good, so try and enjoy Christmas. PS, try writing the other person a letter apologising. Best wishes A.
The penalty for driving without due care and attention also has points - between 3 and 9

If you get 6 points or more, you will lose your licence. This doesn't mean you will be banned from driving, but will be returned to learner status and have to retake both parts of the tests.

If you get a fine, you will be given time to pay. It is highly unlikely that you will go to prison
Hi Louise, do not think you are the only one to fall asleep whilst driving it happens to a lot of people if the truth was known, I used to drive HGVs a night shift was the worst but it still happens at day time, The only thing I can say to you and all, If you feel you are dropping off at the wheel " STOP" for 30mins have a bit of a nod get yourself together and go again, In my experience It does not matter how hard it is to fight the sleep off It does not work, I have had the window down, shouting at myself, radio blasting, there is only one thing you can do as I have said, When you go to court just tell the truth, regards the sleep, as said, lessons will be leant in your case.
If you have been charged with Careless driving it is not only unlikely that you will go to prison - it is impossible.

Like almost all driving offences, careless driving does not carry a custodial option. As ethel points out the maximum penalty is a fine of �5,000, although the likely penalty will be in the region of one week�s net income (reduced by a third if you plead guilty). Prosecution costs (again if you plead guilty) will be in the region of �60. You may receive more than the minimum three penalty points as tiredness is certainly an aggravating feature of the offence, but I would be surprised if you received as many as six.

Your solicitor is being disingenuous by suggesting that your actions could be considered to be Dangerous Driving. I assume you have already been warned about the possible charge and the circumstances you describe do not seem to be even approaching those where Dangerous Driving might be considered.
Hello Louise,
You mention that you are considering contacting the other driver involved, to apologise.
This may be a bad idea , as the small print in your insurance may declare that it could be admitting fault, and thus invalidate your policy
Good luck Louise hope it goes well.
http://www.drivingban.co.uk/drivingoffencespen alties.htm
NOTE PARAGRAGH 4, IF THE CHARGE IS DRIVING WITH UNDUE CARE & ATTENTION, A PRISON SENTENCE CANNOT BE GIVEN. YOUR MAXIMUM FINE CAN ONLY BE UP TO �2500
The "Motor Lawyers" are out of date.

The maximum fine for Careless driving was raised from Level 4 on ths standard scale (�2,500) to level 5 (�5,000) in 2003.

See pages 117 and 151 of this:

http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/m agistrates_court_sentencing_guidelines_update. pdf

for confirmation.

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