Can I pay a fine to avoid a driving ban?
The short answer to that question is no. The law is quite clear on this issue
No matter whether you say that you will lose your job, you won’t be able to take your kids to school, or even your elderly grandmother to do her shopping, unfortunately the Court has a duty to impose a mandatory driving disqualification in cases of drink and drug driving, unless the Court find special reasons exist such as laced drinks or drugs, shortness of distance or an emergency circumstance. More information in relation to special reasons can be found on our other webpage.
For example, the starting point for sentencing consideration for a drug driving case is a 12 month driving disqualification and a fine. The Court will take into account the level of drugs that are in your system , they will also consider any aggravating factors too such as whether you have any previous convictions, the time that has elapsed since the conviction, the location of the offence (eg. Did it happen near a school, were you carrying passengers in the vehicle at the time, was there a high level of traffic at the time of the incident, and also consideration of the weather conditions will be taken into account. The Court will also look at whether there are any factors that increase the seriousness of the offence such as if there is evidence of another specified drug or alcohol in your system at the time of the offence, whether your standard of driving was unacceptable, whether you were driving a vehicle for hire or reward or if you were driving a heavy goods vehicle.
To ensure that you get the least possible sentence, the Court need to be told if there are any mitigating features in your case such as, any relevant previous convictions, whether you are remorseful, if you are of good character, your age, whether you have a mental disorder or learning disability that could have affected your decision making, if you are the sole or primary care for dependent relatives, the short distance driven.
It is also best to ensure that you look at all the factors in the case to get a better understanding of any potential sentence that could be imposed.