Recognition of disqualification

We have recently received a number of enquiries from motorists as to whether a disqualification imposed by a Court in the UK will be enforceable in the Republic of Ireland and vice versa.

This is the subject of much debate at the moment and is receiving a lot of interest amongst academics.

The new position will be that any UK drivers who are disqualified for an offence in Ireland will be subject to that ban when they return home to the UK. Similarly, the position is identical in respect of any disqualification imposed on an Irish motorist whilst driving in the UK.

The relevant law in this matter is governed by section 57 of the Crime (Intentional Co-operation) Act 2003 in the UK and by the Road Traffic Act 2002 in Ireland. This refers to "unexpired" bans from foreign jurisdictions. It is our understanding of the legislation that any part of an unexpired disqualification from the Republic of Ireland will be mutually recognised in the UKA disqualified driver, to whom the section is applicable, would receive a section 57 notice advising them that their ban would be enforceable in the UK.

At this stage, mutual recognition applies to disqualifications imposed in relation to specific offences. Totting up disqualifications fall outside the scope of the relevant law.

It is expected that there will be law passed in the future to enable the mutual recognition of penalty points across the the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

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