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Driving, Drunks and Death on the Road

NCJ Number
Justice of the Peace Volume: 164 Issue: 3 Dated: January 15, 2000 Pages: 36-40
Stephen O'Doherty
Date Published
5 pages
This article examines the problems arising from drunk driving and deaths resulting from a driving offense.
The article considers the extent to which, if at all, the damage, injury or death resulting from a driving offense should be reflected in the sentence if the damage, injury or death are not constituent elements of the offense. The article reviews the legislative background of driving offenses in the United Kingdom, the difference between careless and dangerous driving, the relevance of alcohol, the relevance of death on the appropriate charge and sentencing problems. The article also includes relevant case studies. The issue of how to sentence careless drivers where there has been a death is one seldom encountered by judges but is still causing concern among magistrates. The rise in victim oriented justice also creates difficulties when relatives of the deceased voice their views on the appropriate punishment for an offense. There are obviously issues around drinking alcohol and deaths on the roads which have not yet been resolved by the criminal justice system. Notes