"Special Reasons", if found, allow a court to use it's discretion to avoid imposing an obligatory disqualification or to avoid the imposition of penalty points in endorseable offences.
A "special reason" requires proof of four miminum criteria, namely;
1. It must be an extenuating or mitigating circumstance;
2. It must not amount in law to a defence to the charge;
3. it must be directly connected with the commission of the offence; and
4. it must be one which the court ought properly to take into considration when imposing sentence.
Even if Special Reasons are found, a court may still use its discretion against a motorist and impose the disqualifiaction or endorsement, so it is important for any motorist arguing such a case to do so knowing the potential consequences.
Examples of Special Reasons:
- where a motorist was misled into committing the offence, such as having his drinks laced, where but for the amount of alcohol consumed the motorist would have been under the limit;
- where a motorist drove for so short a distance and in circumstances such that he was unlikely to be brought into contact with other road users;
-where the journey was an emergency;
Phil Morris has extensive experience in determining when and whether to raise such an argument and will advise during the initial email assessment.