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Lewis Nedas News

Lewis Nedas Law are London-based solicitors. Frequently rated in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500, we can help you or your business today. Tel: 020 7387 2032.

Unan Choudhury Speaks At British Bangladeshi Mini Cab Driver Event

unan-mini-cab-eventUnan was invited by the Association of British Bangladeshi Mini Cab Drivers to speak at their launch on Sunday 18 May 2014.

Over 200 people attended including numerous prominent local businessmen and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman. The event was also broadcast by number of Bangladeshi television channels.

Unan has a large, buoyant client base amongst the London Bangladeshi community and covers a whole range of legal issues for his clients.

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Motoring Case Successes for Miles Herman & LNL

Traffic CamR v R

Miles Herman represented an individual charged with speeding in excess of 70mph in a 40mph zone.

Ordinarily, such speeds result in the Court imposing a period of disqualification generally between 28 days and 56 days.

On this occasion Miles, through skilful mitigation highlighting recent changes in the speed and layout of the road in question, was able to mitigate the events to a point that the Court felt able to impose penalty points and a financial penalty, instead of disqualification. Miles was alive to the need to put forward robust mitigation based on factual evidence.

R v F

Miles also successfully represented an individual facing allegations of dangerous driving.

It was alleged in this case that the driver had acted dangerously in overtaking a pedestrian at speed and to the danger of other road users.

Miles made representations on the individual's behalf stating why, given the circumstances of the allegations, this was an offence of driving without due care and attention as opposed to dangerous driving. Those representations were successful and, following interview, the Police indicated that a summons would be served for driving without due care and attention as opposed to the more serious offence.

The individual Miles represented was a professional who would have faced a disciplinary body if he had been charged with an offence of dangerous driving. On this occasion a successful result was achieved, much to the delight of the individual concerned.

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New Law for Drug Driving to Come into Effect 2014

The government has announced its new zero tolerance policy towards those who drive under the influence of drugs.

Police will be able to take a road test saliva test and then take the arrestee for a blood test at the police station.

Anybody convicted of such an offence can expect to be banned from driving for twelve months and be liable to pay a fine to a maximum level of £5,000. A prison sentence of up to six months will also be an available sentencing option.

If you are in need of legal advice and assistance in any sort of motoring offence, please complete our online enquiry form or call us on 0207 387 2032.

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New drug driving offence

A new offence of driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a concentration of a specified controlled drug in the body above a prescribed limit is being introduced in the Crime and Courts Bill, currently making its way through Parliament.

Drug driving is a growing problem in the UK and, according to Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, is a factor in an estimated 200 road fatalities each year.

The Government commissioned a review of the law relating to drink and drug driving back in 2010 and has been working to tighten the rules since then. The focus of this latest change is on the fact that the existing law seems to be of limited effect in tackling drug driving.

Issues with the current law

At the moment drug driving is dealt with under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which makes it an offence to drive while unfit to do so through drink or drugs.

In practice, however, few prosecutions are actually brought and of those which are initiated, many are eventually thrown out or withdrawn.

This is because of the technical difficulty of securing a conviction for driving while unfit through drugs: to succeed, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant was driving or in charge of the vehicle; that he was so impaired that he was unfit to drive; and that the impairment affecting him was caused by drugs.

New offence

The Government has therefore decided to introduce a new strict liability offence of driving with a controlled drug in the body – removing the need to prove impairment. This will mirror the position with drink driving, and will run alongside the existing Section 4 offence.

New defence

However, as Stephen Hammond said in a recent statement:

"We must ensure that the new offence would not unduly penalise drivers who have taken properly prescribed or supplied drugs in line with medical advice."

The Crime and Courts Bill therefore gives a defence to people who have driven after taking a controlled drug that has been prescribed or supplied "for medical or dental purposes." To succeed in the defence, that person must have followed the directions given for the use of the drug in question.

It's also worth noting that this defence will not apply to the "old' offence of driving while unfit to do so under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This will still be available to prosecutors.

What is a controlled drug?

The Crime and Courts Bill does not list which drugs will be regarded as controlled drugs, nor the limit of concentration at which they will bring the offence into play. These details are going to be dealt with in separate regulations, currently being developed by the relevant government ministers in England, Wales and Scotland.

However, technical advice on the identity of the specified controlled substances, and the maximum permitted levels of each, is already available. This comes in the form of a report from a specialist panel, published earlier this month.

According to Stephen Hammond, the Government hopes to consult on the draft regulations later in the year.

Contact us for legal advice

For specialist legal advice on any of these issues relating to driving under the influence of drugs or other motoring law issues, contact Lewis Nedas on 02073872032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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