Legal Updates

Tougher fines for speeding offences

Written by Philip Somarakis

Yesterday the Sentencing Council for England and Wales published revised sentencing guidelines for various offences in the Magistrates’ Court following a consultation on the draft guidelines between 19 May 2016 and 11 August 2016. The guidelines will come into effect on 24 April 2017.

One of the most prominent changes includes a higher penalty for offenders whose speed falls within the most serious offence category in the speeding guideline (highlighted bold in the table below). The speeding guideline focuses on the offender’s recorded speed against the speed limit.

Speed Limit (mph)

Recorded Speed (mph)

























The sentencing starting point for the most serious category was a Band B fine being 100% of the offender’s relevant weekly income and this has now increased to a Band C fine. At 150% of the offender’s relevant weekly income, a Band C fine will now be the highest level available to the Magistrates or Judge when sentencing an offender for speeding. The Sentencing Council stated that the revised guidelines are to ensure that there is a clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases”.

There is no change to the number of penalty points or length of driving ban for speeding offences

Sentencing guidelines have also been updated for offences related to careless driving, failing to provide a specimen for analysis and excess alcohol when driving or in charge of a vehicle. Should you require any further information, please contact Philip Somarakis, Head of Regulatory Solutions at Gordon Dadds LLP.

Thank you to Mandy Rai, paralegal in our Regulatory Solutions department, for her help in preparing this update.

Contact the Author

Profile image of Philip Somarakis

Philip Somarakis

I specialise in both alcohol and entertainment licensing and criminal litigation (dividing my time 30% licensing and 70% motoring). I have over 20 years’ experience. I was previously a Partner at Blake Lapthorn and more recently Davenport Lyons. I have appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearings before Licensing Committees and in the Magistrates Courts for clients ranging from multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, stately homes hosting music festivals, and breweries. I have successfully defended licence holders in criminal proceedings for various licensing and consumer-related offences. I am a recognised expert in motoring offences; securing acquittals for clients in speeding and drink driving cases and appearing on BBC Watchdog and Radio 5 Live. Recent experience includes:

  • Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing
  • Obtaining new premises licences for 1000 capacity venue in Hackney Acting for a national restaurant chain in licensing matters
  • Advising a supermarket/convenience store chain on due diligence and training
  • Advising a national opera on licensing law
  • Obtaining a shadow premises licence in Westminster City Council.
  • Representing a motorist arrested for drink driving who was acquitted after trial
  • Advising a driver who had failed to provide a breath specimen and was found not guilty
  • Acting for numerous individuals who have had their driving licences revoked due to visual field defects or other medical conditions
  • Acting for a client on 9 penalty points who faced three speeding offence charges by three different police forces and successfully keeping her licence.
When I have free time, I spend it running ultra marathons, reading, cooking and generally having a lot of fun. Qualifications: LLB Hons Degree Law Society Final Examinations.

Gordon Dadds