Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: 124 Northern Ireland drivers have more than 12 points on licence - one with 20

One-hundred-and-twenty-four drivers in Northern Ireland have 12 points or more on their licence, it has been revealed.

The figure was revealed by the BBC's Stephen Nolan show. One motorist, the show reported, is still driving around Northern Ireland with 20 points on their licence.

The vast majority of motorists have their licence taken from them when they reach 12 points.

Former PSNI assistant chief constable Alan McQuillan said judges do take into account special circumstances before taking away anyone's licence.

"There has to be some discretion. I am not excusing it," he said.

"You can't lose your licence before appearing in court. So even if you get a ticket to take you up to 12 you won't be disqualified until you appear in court.

"There could be many, many, many special circumstances [for a judge not to take away a licence]. For example, it could be somebody who has a relatively clean long record of driving but has picked up a lot of points in one incident. Or someone who lives in a remote rural area and has serious illness and has not another means of transport.

"Say someone is caught speeding in the early hours of the morning with no-one around and is that worth them losing their licence and maybe their job with it?

"Magistrates have a duty in law to take into account individual's circumstances. You need to look at the detail in each case before judging on why it was not removed.

"The judiciary needs that discretion, otherwise injustices will happen."

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