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Failure of Driver to Disclose Identity of Any Passenger or Other Driver to Police

Failure or refusal of a driver to disclose or provide full and correct details of the identity of a driver or passenger is an offence under section 15(2) of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were the driver of a vehicle,
  2. You were required to disclose the identity of any driver or passenger under section 14 of the Act, 
  3. You failed or refused to provide the required identity or identities or, if you did not know the full and correct identity or identities, you failed or refused to disclose identification information known to you, such as any aliases or general location of residence.

Subsection 14(1)(a) of the Act sets out the obligations of drivers to disclose identity information to police.

The subsection provides that a police officer who suspects on reasonable grounds that a vehicle is, was or may have been use in or in connection with a serious offence may require the driver to disclose their identity, as well as the identity of any driver or passenger that was in the vehicle at or around the time the vehicle was or may have been so used, or was last stopped or a direction was given for the vehicle to stop.

General legal defences to the offence include duress, necessity and self-defence.

If you are able to raise evidence of a general legal defence, the onus then shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defence does not apply to the circumstances of the case.

You are entitled to an acquittal if the prosecution is unable to do this.

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