Judges Able to Hand Life Sentences For Those Guilty of Death by Dangerous Driving
From today (28/06/2022), changes to legislation have increased the sentencing power for judges dealing with those charged with causing death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving through drink or drugs. Previously, the sentencing guidelines permitted judges to issue a maximum of 14 years in prison, although this level of sentence was rarely given.
On 28 April 2022, The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill received Royal Assent allowing it to be passed into legislation. From today, the maximum sentence a judge can now issue has been increased to life imprisonment. Many families across the UK who have suffered a loss at the hands of a dangerous driver have welcomed this news.
Why the change?
There is no doubt about the level of pain and suffering felt by the families who lose a loved one due to dangerous or careless driving. The aim of the new tougher penalties is to reflect the severity of the offences and provide families with a sense of justice that has often felt absent in recent years.
Despite the number of cases dropping in 2021 compared to 2020, there were a staggering 568 offences whereby death or serious injury was the result of dangerous/careless driving.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has said: "too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families. We have changed the law so that those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars."
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