Special Reasons

The ‘special reasons’ arguments are an important part of ‘drink driving’, ‘drug driving’, and ‘driving without insurance’ allegations. Like many common motoring offences, they are either strict liability offences, or require very little conscious intention from the driver in order for the motoring offence to be committed. A good example of this is the offence of ‘driving without insurance’. The law requires every motorist to have motor insurance. In a sense, you either have insurance or you don’t! The driver’s state of knowledge is largely irrelevant when considering whether the offence has been committed.

The comments of a previously happy client:

“I had to plead guilty to no insurance and received a tally of 12 points. Richard set out my case and managed to keep my licence. I will recommend Keep Your Licence to my friends and family.”


However, this is not the end of the story. In order to temper the harsh effect of some of these strict liability motoring offences, the Court’s allow ‘special reasons’ arguments. As the name would suggest, if an offence has been committed but there is some good excuse for the commission of the offence, then the Court will sometimes take this into account when imposing any potential disqualification from driving, or penalty points.

Richard Wood wins a high proportion of trials and specials reasons argument. Will your case be the next? Click here to find out.

Looking at the example of ‘driving without insurance’, we often get calls from motorists who have been misled or confused as to whether they had motor insurance in place to cover their driving. If the Court is satisfied that a driver did not have insurance but that this was the result of a genuine and reasonable mistake, then the Court can reduce or avoid any disqualification from driving, or can refuse to impose penalty points (where it would otherwise by mandatory). What the Court is saying that the driver is guilty, but that there is no criminal fault because a ‘special reason’ has been taken into consideration.

Special reasons apply to a number of different offences, and not just driving without insurance. In practice, we find ourselves arguing ‘special reasons’ most often in relation to drink driving offences and driving without insurance.

What can amount to a basis for a ‘special reason’ argument? In relation to drink driving offences, the following are the most frequently relied upon categories:

  • ‘spiked’ drinks
  • short distance driven
  • Driving in circumstances where no reasonable prospect of danger to other road users
  • Misled into committing the offence without negligence on the driver’s part
  • Drove due to an emergency

In relation to driving without insurance:

  • misled by the insurance company
  • as a named driver, being misled by the principal insured
  • driving in the course of employment in a vehicle provided by the driver’s employer (now probably also a complete defence to the allegation of driving without insurance)
  • Misleading wording of the policy of insurance




If you have been accused of a motoring offence and you think you may have a ‘special reason’, or you have any other motoring offence related query, then we would strongly advise that you give us a call on 0800 0126039 or fill out an online enquiry. We will be able to provide you with free and without obligation advice as to how best to proceed.