The Dangers of Points Swapping

It is now a year since Chris Huhne, the former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister, and ex-wife, Vicky Pryce were released from prison after their bitter split led to Ms Pryce trying to get revenge on Mr Huhne by revealing she had swapped penalty points with him.  Mr Huhne on a journey from Stansted Airport in Essex was caught speeding on the M11 in his BMW vehicle and later was forced to admit that he had asked his wife to falsely admit that she was the driver.  This high profile couple were both pursued by the police and prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.

Therefore if you are unlucky enough to receive a letter through the door demanding that you identify the name of a driver under section 172 of the Road Trafffic Act 1988, it is worthwhile answering honestly and truthfully.  However, that does not mean that you should simply admit to being the driver if you really cannot fathom out who it was.  In those circumstances, the law is not an ass and provides you with a defence of using all reasonable diligence to identify the name of the driver.  I have helped people fill out the forms and even helped rectify mistakes made on forms when it is discovered who the true driver was on any particular date.

Points swapping is very tempting and one can see why Chris Huhne was tempted.  He was tipped for a potential leadership role in the Liberal democrats and did not want to do anything to jeopardise it.  For many people, it is simple economics.  They often already have 9 penalty points on their licence and need to avoid a ban as they will lose their jobs.  However, perverting the course of justice by swapping points is a serious imprisonable offence.  The Sentencing Guideline Council recommendation for perverting the course of justice is a minimum sentence of an immediate jail term.

A recent poll identified that 1 in 20 drivers swap penalty points with their friends and family.  A further 34% considered it despite knowing it was a criminal offence.  However, relying on a third party is fraught with danger as Chris Huhne knows to his cost.  The speeding offence took place in 2003, but only revealed when the pair broke up a decade later.  A lot of faith is placed in someone to take points and it is difficult to say if they may react differently in the future and reveal your secret.

If you need advice surrouding the completion of the driver notification form or maybe been accused by the police of failing to identify the driver, then do not hesitate to contact me for a FREE initial inquiry by EMAIL or by telephone on 0843 886 2603.  Please quote the Reference: MARCUSCROSKELL.COM.