The Nations Leading Drink Driving Solicitors

With two decades of motoring offences experience and hundreds of happy clients, we believe Parnell & Peel are ideally placed to obtain the best result for you.

Exceptional Hardship Driving Ban

Exceptional Hardship Driving Ban

What Is An Exceptional Hardship (Driving Ban)?

What is an exceptional hardship ?

Under normal circumstances and under the totting up system, if you were to accumulate 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period, you would be subject to a 3-year mandatory driving disqualification under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

Under Section 35, the minimum period of disqualification is:

  • six months if no previous disqualification is to be taken into account.
  • one year if one previous disqualification is to be taken into account.
  • two years if more than one previous disqualification is to be taken into account.

A previous disqualification will not be taken into account if it was imposed within the three years immediately preceding the date on which the current offence was committed.

In certain circumstances, an application for exceptional hardship can be put forward, where the motorist will give reasons for why the disqualification would bring suffering beyond what an average person would experience in the same circumstances. Once the application has been put forward, the magistrate will determine whether the disqualification is too severe considering the circumstances of the individual. If the magistrate deems that the punishment is too harsh, then the length of the disqualification could be reduced or not enforced.


Examples of exceptional hardship

Loss of employment

Losing one’s job due to not having a driving licence is a common reason we put forward for exceptional hardship. If you work as a truck driver or are required to travel frequently for work, facing a driving disqualification may lead to loss of employment, leading to further consequences such as losing your house and income, causing further suffering to your family and those dependent on you.

Hardship on individuals who rely on your support or care

Many of our clients may be carers to family members or have others who rely on them, and loss of one’s driving licence may cause loss of that support and result in suffering for those who are reliant on the motorist.

Inability to assist with childcare if disqualified

Parents, if disqualified, may not be able to drive their children to extracurricular activities or to school if there is not sufficient public transport, causing excess adversity. For single parents, it may be difficult for them to see their children if they live a long distance away, resulting in negative impacts for the children.

There are many reasons why a driving disqualification would cause hardship and suffering to an individual, but the judge or magistrate will be more accepting in circumstances where suffering is caused to others reliant on the motorist. If you feel as though you have grounds for exceptional hardship, contact us now at 0330 3411690 .


How do we put forward an exceptional hardship application?

Prior to your court hearing, we will thoroughly prepare you and build the foundations of your application by gathering witnesses and relevant evidence showing excess hardship on you or others.

Examples of these could be financial records detailing how loss of employment could result in financial detriment; medical papers for people who you care for; statements from employers confirming your position and why your driving licence would be essential, etc.

Frequently, we find that motorists will put forward exceptional hardship on grounds of termination of employment, but you can imagine how often magistrates are presented with the same argument for exceptional hardship. That’s why we believe it is necessary to present further information detailing the consequences of a driving disqualification, such as negative implications for third parties.

The loss of one’s driving licence may mean loss of occupation but can consequently result in a household losing their main source of income and suffering for those dependent on the motorist, such as his or her children.

Now you can clearly see how the above is more compelling than “But I’ll Lose My Job..


Exceptional hardship outcomes

Once an application for exceptional hardship has been put forward, one of three outcomes will occur:

  • The court recognises your application and does not impose a disqualification.
  • The court recognises the application, but a ban is still imposed, usually for less than the minimum period of six months.
  • The court rejects your application as compelling, and the minimum disqualification of 6 months is imposed.

Within a 3-year period, you are unable to put forward the same grounds for exceptional hardship but can put forward a different reason. Although if argued once, it is important to note that the magistrate will likely be less tolerant in regards to your situation.


Can exceptional hardship be used to avoid a drink-driving disqualification?

The short answer to this would be no. Unlike a totting-up disqualification under Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, drink driving incurs a mandatory 12-month disqualification. If pleading guilty, the only way to avoid a disqualification is to put forward “special” reasons. Special reasons would be extenuating or mitigating circumstances revolving around the offence that, if the magistrate deems them applicable, could result in a reduced disqualification or none at all. Common examples of this would be:

  • Short-distance driving
  • Spike Drinks
  • Emergency situations


Speak to a specialist

If you find yourself dealing with a totting-up disqualification, look no further. For over 16 years, our team at Parnell and Peel has specialised solely in defending motoring offences, with an extensive track record and thousands of licences saved. We believe in providing the most exemplary legal representation to our clients. Click here and see for yourself.

Speak with one of our specialist lawyers in complete confidence and privacy by reaching out to us on  0330 3411690 or complete a Free Online Enquiry. Let’s see if we can build the rapport you need to feel safe and supported at this difficult time.

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What Our Clients Say

“Hi Abdul, I would like to thank you and your team for looking after me after been charged with Drink Driving, from the initial contact with Nancy to speaking to you and especially Keiran who represented me in court, who I can’t thank enough. When I thought there was no hope you and Kieran sorted what I thought was a hopeless case. I would strongly recommend you to anyone in the same position. Again thank you to you and your team.”

Nigel Murray

“My family and friends were sceptical about using Solicitors after I was stopped for drink driving. Parnell & Peel Solicitors were willing take a case on that others told was hopeless. I am astounded by Abdul and his teams brilliance in helping me to avoid conviction. If you have been stopped for drink driving do not hesitate to use Parnell & Peel Solicitors.”

Thomas Mcdonagh

“Stopped for drink driving, I started a dream job, and I could have lost everything, Kieran was brilliant at putting forward detailed legal arguments, which resulted in the prosecution offering no evidence in my case. Unbelievable, Thank you to Parnell & Peel Solicitors.”

Oliver Reith

Pricey but when you have your livelihood at stake definitely worth it. No jargon Abdul was just great at explaining away difficult concepts very easily. The barrister used was also fantastic. They are a great firm.”

Mizlain Walton

Parnell and Peel what can you say. Abdul was amazing meticulous and professional throughout. Great customer care and friendly team. Everything was outstanding. Fantastic team, fantastic result.”

Alina Arten

“It was the worse time of my life. My nephew had made allegation against me. I contacted Parnell and Peel, and from the very first conversation with Abdul, I knew he was the one to help me. Parnell used many experts including psychological ones to show that my nephew was not telling the truth, old phone records were also used to provide me with a defence. I was relieved when the Prosecution dropped by Case. I will forever be grateful to the team at Parnell.”


“Thank You, Thank you. I believed my life had ended. I was falsely accused of Rape and I didn’t know where to turn to. I contacted many solicitors, until deciding upon Parnell. It’s the best decision I ever made. The Prosecution offered no evidence, during the Crown Court hearing.”


“Parnell and Peel are magnificent, not only are they excellent at their jobs, but they are humans. Abdul was truly amazing, as was the whole team. The thought of prison for something I did not do was truly terrifying. Abduls amazing eye for detail saved the day. The prosecution had noty followed the correct procedure, and the witnesses had lied on oath. I was found not guilty”


“Brilliant, absolutely amazing firm. I contacted Abdul, having spoken to other firms, although more expensive, you simply get what you pay for. Attentive, inquisitive, and fantastic in Court, both Abdul and John wo represented me during my trial were excellent. Found not guilty of historic allegations.”


These guys are the real deal. Abdul was absolutely excellent in dealing with my drink driving case. We didn’t have a very strong case but thanks to his preparation, perseverance and calm approach in court, the charge was dropped.

In court, Abdul was quick thinking and really dictated the speed and flow of proceedings, taking time to properly consider the argument put forward and close down the prosecution.

Highly recommend.


Amazing support from Abdul.

I had charge from the court for 12 points for two different incidents.

Abdul assisted me with this like family and finally got out of the charges. It was nearly a year journey and I never felt left alone.

I recommend everyone to seek advice from him, very knowledgeable and helpful.

Waarisha Iffat

They done the impossible, got caught drink driving, I thought I would lose my license, however Abdul Ali insisted that I had a case, I just decided to take the risk, it went a lot better than I could have ever imagined.

He managed to drop my case before it got to the second trial, the whole experience was very smooth and he was very positive and uplifting throughout the whole process.

Just trust them and leave them to do their job.


Will recommend them to everyone!

Mani Sameni

Mr Abdul Ali took my case on a few weeks before my case, he understood how vital it was for me to not get a ban on my driving licence due to totting up of points.

He was reassuring all through out the build up to my case, he guided me all through the information I would need for presenting evidence for an exceptional hardship case and on the day went through how the court process would be.

I was very nervous but through his expertise and guidance I was able to present my case and was successful in not being banned from driving.

I could not state highly enough how valuable he was to my case and me personally as soon as I met him I knew he was the right solicitor for me.

He took the time to understand my case and what I had to loose and did everything in professional capacity in court to ensure I received the verdict that I wanted.

I would highly recommend his services and expertise to anyone in such driving offences situation.

Kindera Hopkins

Abdul Ali was extremely helpful and re-assuring throughout the process.

He was always available and on-call even outside your traditional working hours.

I’d highly recommend Abdul as with his experience and confidence regarding the matter, he’s always comfortable in dealing with it as he’s been there and done it many times before!

Ashraf Kizito

I am extremely grateful for the exceptional services provided by solicitor Abdul in my drink-driving case.

His expertise and dedication resulted in a successful outcome even before we went to court.

I was impressed by his thorough understanding of the legal system and his ability to navigate through the complexities of my case.

I highly recommend Abdul for anyone in need of a reliable and skilled solicitor.

Thank you for your outstanding work!

Gani Qufaj

First of all I would like to start with a massive Thankyou to Abdul Ali and his team.

This is to be my first review as I have never ever posted one.

I was charged with Failure To Provide Specimen with the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The prosecution was looking to throw the book at me give a custodial sentence however due to Abdul’s above and beyond examination of the evidence it was concluded that the prosecution had no case as they had no evidence of me driving the car.

If you are in trouble it is always worth getting legal advice and seeing what can be done.

This guy is an extremely educated person and knows exactly what he is talking about.

He was throughout in contact even answering my phone at stupid times when I used to have some questions so I got to give it to him for his dedication.

All in all I would definitely say this firm and Abdul Ali is definitely someone I’d blindly put my trust in.

Jeremiah Daniel

Abdul was brilliant to work with.

Answered all calls and texts with helpful information and on the day of court.

He got me the outcome I wanted

Anna Heywood

Can’t recommend Abdul and his team enough.

Even when I taught there was nothing I could Abdul reassured he would do everything he could.

Very perfessional and were always at the other end of the phone.

Received the best outcome there is and kept my license.

Kevin Murray

Drink driving- Not guilty.

Worth every penny!

I was certain I would lose my license at the time.

After contacting Parnell and Peel, Abdul quickly filled me with confidence and explained in great detail how he would defend my case.

He clearly has a lot of experience and knowledge.

In the end I didn’t even need to go to trial as my case was dropped a few days before, all thanks to Abdul and his team.

I can’t thank him enough and I would highly recommend Parnell and Peel solicitors to anyone.

Louis Harrison

Wow, words cannot express how happy I am today when I was told the good news by Abdul that my drink drive court case has been dropped.

From the very first day I contacted Abdul when i was charged with drink drive offense, he assured me to calm down and that he will do all he can to get me the possible outcome and that is exacted what I had.

I will 100% recommend Parnell and Peel Solicitors to you if you find yourself at the wrong side of the law.

Once again, thank you Abdul, Thank you Parnell and Peel Solicitors.

Leonard A

After a gruelling process of putting forward a post consumption defence the CPS failed to counter defend the evidence presented by the team at Parnell and Peel.

I’m a happy man and glad I get to keep my licence!

Ismail A

Contacted Pamell and Peel on Friday re a driving offence.

Answered immediately.

Abdul has been extremely helpful.

I would definitely recommend.

Ewan B

I was stopped for drink drive I was devastated as I stood on the verge of losing everything

I spoke to Abdul and he was reassuring and informed me that we could put a technical defence forward.

The prosecution on the day of the trial offered no evidence.

I am so grateful to the team at Parnel.

My experience was excellent particular thanks go to Abdul

Eliza A