Court Sentencing Calculator
To assist Courts when working out reductions in disqualification periods and establishing course completion dates, VMCL have produced a Court Sentencing Calculator.
There are two different versions of the Calculator - one for Scotland and one for England. The reason for this is the sentencing guidelines for the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme vary slightly between the two countries and the two versions of the calculator allow for this, as follows:
a) In England, in accordance with the Magistrates' Court Sentencing Guidelines, the reduction offered to offenders who complete a Drink Drive Rehabilitation course must be at least three months but cannot be more than one quarter of the total period of disqualification:
As a result, the disqualification period on the English version of the Calculator must be enterd in MONTHS and the reduction permitted will be calculated and displayed in WEEKS (apart from a 12 month ban which must have a three month reduction). The course completion date is two months before the end of the reduced ban.
b) In Scotland, Section 34A of the Road Traffic Offenders Act states that:
As a result, the Scottish version of the calculator can operate using months, weeks or days as the unit of time is not specified. If you print this information for use in Court, please ensure you select the unit of time required by your Sheriff or legal team. The reduction permitted will be calculated using the same unit of time that was used to enter the disualification period. The course completion date is two months before the end of the reduced ban.
Regardless of which version of the Calculator you use, the calculator has two parts:
- The lower part of the screen, the 'Ready Reckoner', shows details of the eleven most commonly used periods of disqualification, listing the possible reductions up to a maximum of 25% of the original ban. Also shown are the dates the offender can drive again and the course completion date.
- The top of the screen, the 'Driving Ban Calculator', caters for those cases where the disqualification period cannot be found amongst those listed in the Ready Reckoner.
Both versions of the Court Sentencing Calculator are available through the VMCL website and are completely free of charge to Sheriffs, Court Officials and Magistrates. One of the calculator's major benefits is that the required data can be printed in advance of Court proceedings, whether for today, tomorrow, or the whole week and it really is simple to operate. Some Courts use this facility to print the data in advance and collate it with the Court Listing for the day.
Many Courts for whom VMCL provide training use the calculator on a regular basis and it has been described by some as a "most welcome, time saving initiative."
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