penalty points

Traffic offences and penalty points – get the facts

Every year police in England and Wales deal with more than six million road traffic offences; ranging from minor infractions to serious offences.

penalty points

Make sure you stay in the know, and keep on the right side of the law with our guide to motoring offences in the UK and the penalties that they could land you with.

Who sets the penalties?

The maximum penalties for road traffic offences are set by the government; the severity of the offence is taken into account when handing out penalties, with the most serious offences attracting the maximum penalties, the court decides on the appropriate penalty depending on individual circumstances.

Ticket types

penalty points

There are two types of tickets you could be hit with; if you commit a motoring offence it will either be deemed endorsable or non-endorsable. Endorsable tickets are the ones that attract a fine and penalty points; with a non-endorsable ticket you will only have to fork out for a fine.

Endorsable tickets usually come with a fixed penalty of £100 fine and three penalty points. You can get an endorsable ticket for:


-Running a red light

-Using a mobile while driving

-Running a red light

-Pedestrian crossing offences like parking on the zigzag lines leading up to a crossing, stopping or overtaking on a crossing

-Driving without insurance; in this case the minimum fine will be £300 and you’ll get at least six penalty points.

The minimum fixed penalty for a non-endorsable ticket will usually be a £50 fine. These can be issued for:

-Driving without an MOT, this attracts a £100 fine

-Failing to wear a seatbelt, this also attracts a £100 fine

-Failing to comply with a traffic sign

-Parking offences

-Driving a vehicle with a defective part; no windscreen wipers etc

-Lighting offense; driving without headlights or misuse of fog lights

-Causing unnecessary noise

-Exceeding weight restrictions for your vehicle

Points remain on your licence for three years, after four years you can send off your licence to the DVLA to have them removed.

If you accumulate more than 12 or more penalty points in a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving for a minimum period of six months; this could be longer if you have previously been disqualified.

More serious offences

Dangerous driving

If your driving ‘falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous’ it is considered to be very irresponsible you could be convicted of dangerous driving.

This is an extremely serious driving offence and you could end up with a prison sentence of up to 3 years, an unlimited fine and you will have your licence taken away from you. Causing death by dangerous driving will land you with a 10-year prison sentence, an unlimited fine and disqualification.

Drinking & driving

Not to be taken lightly, drinking and driving is a very serious offence; not only could you do yourself some serious damage you could also hurt someone else.

There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, but the amount of drinks this equals is different for each person.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in the UK is:

  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine

There are a number of factors that could determine the way alcohol affects you, these could be:

  • Your weight, age, sex and metabolism
  • The type of alcohol you have been drinking
  • How much and what you’ve eaten recently
  • Stress levels at the time of drinking

Maximum penalties for jumping behind the wheel after a drink vary depending on the offence:

Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit:

-Three months’ imprisonment

-Up to £2,500 fine

-A possible driving ban

Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit:

-Six months’ imprisonment

-Up to £5,000 fine

-A driving ban for at least one year (three years if convicted twice in 10 years)

Refusing to provide a specimen for analysis:

-Six months’ imprisonment

-Up to £5,000 fine

-A ban from driving for at least one year

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink:

-14 years’ imprisonment

-An unlimited fine

-A ban from driving for at least two years

-An extended driving test before your licence is returned

Below is a table of the maximum penalties that offences can attract:

penalty points

5 thoughts on “Traffic offences and penalty points – get the facts

  1. Rob

    Hi there I was approaching a roundabout and there was a crossing before the roundabout the traffic lights were green but I stopped in the crossing will I get in trouble for it ?

  2. Seanfrank

    Loads of people near were I live are going through red lights and it is very dangerous they council ain’t done nothing and it’s only matter of time before someone gets killed what can I do and why chants they put up a photo snapper on the Ted lights as this will give them all points there is non on a massive round about in trowbridge and everyone goes through as they know this something needs to be done


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