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What is a Major Traffic Offence?

The penalties that apply to traffic offences such as drink or drug driving, driving whilst disqualified and reckless driving often depend on whether it is the driver’s first, or second or more, ‘major offence’ in the past 5 years.

A list of ‘major offences’ is contained in Section 5 of the Road Transport Act 2013.

These offences are:

  1. Wounding, grievous bodily harm, manslaughter or murder caused by or arising from the use of a motor vehicle
  2. Furious driving
  3. Predatory driving
  4. Police pursuit (Skye’s law)
  5. Drink driving
  6. Drug driving (driving with an illicit substance present)
  7. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  8. Negligent driving occasioning death or grievous bodily harm
  9. Driving recklessly, furiously or in a manner or at a speed dangerous
  10. Menacing driving
  11. Failing to stop after an impact causing injury
  12. Refusing or failing to submit to a breath test, analysis or assessment
  13. Refusing or failing to provide oral fluid, urine or blood
  14. Wilfully introducing or altering alcohol or drugs in system

It is also a major offence to aid, abet, counsel, procure or be an accessory before the fact to any of the above.

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