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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71030
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a letter from the police dated 21st October saying

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I received a letter from the police dated 21st October saying the Dvla had told them I had sold my vehicle but not advised them of the new owner's details. The police did not say why they had been in touch with the Dvla. I replied on 23rd October saying that I still owned the vehicle. About 5 weeks later, I received a NIP alleged speeding offence on 12th October (some 7 weeks earlier). I replied that I could not remember who may have been driving the car all that time ago and in any case the notice was invalid because it was outside the 14 day issuance period. The Police response was the delay was caused by the wrong information they had received from the Dvla and therefore the 14 day period is not applicable in this case. My view is that despite Dvla's error they had my address and details on about 24th October (via my letter of the 23rd) and therefore the latest they should have issued the NIP was the 8th November. Should I continue with my argument on these lines?
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Sorry if I am missing the point but surely it was not true that you could not remember?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There are three people who drive the vehicle. In such circumstances can someone be expected to remember who was driving the vehicle at a particular time of day 7 weeks previously? In any event, the police said In such circumstances I should nominate the most likely driver, and so I have said it was me.
That is a problem.
Have you already done that?
Did you qualify it in any way?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I just said it was the best guess. Who was driving is surely not the main point. The point is, is a NIP issued 7 weeks after the alleged offence valid or not in these circumstances.
Yes, it is. Please forget about the time issue.
Do you remember the actual wording that you used? It will make all the difference. People go to prison declarations upon NIPs.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't have a copy of the letter with me. I'll have to get back yo you with that detail. How can I contact you tomorrow? I was not being untruthful when I said I did not know . I had a best guess, which is what they asked me to do. Regardless of all that, is the NIP served 7 weeks after the event valid or not in the circumstances I described to you?
Yes, come back when you like.
If you qualified it then you will be fine
When you say a letter, I presume you mean that was an accompanying letter ? Not the actual S172 form itself? It might not be a disaster then.
In relation the time issue, that is a different point. The NIP has to be either issued verbally at scene or served within 14 days save exemptions. Whether those exceptions apply or not, what you are trying to do is argue that because the NIP was late that means your S172 duties to name the driver do not apply. That is a leap too far I'm afraid.
S172 still applies and the onus is upon you to identify and name the driver without qualification. If you do not then they will just charge you with failing to identify and then the date of the NIP will be no issue.
However, if you haven't been untruthful then this isn't perverting which is obviously the most important thing.
But if you come back with more information then I can probably tell you more.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to clarify. The Police wrote to me and suggested that in the circumstances I consider who was most likely to be driving at the time and complete the S172 accordingly. I did that and accompanied the S172 with a letter saying I had followed their suggestion and nominated myself as the driver as I drove the. car most frequently. So to all intents and purposes I am the named driver. The question is, regardless of who may have been driving, is the NIP valid or invalid?
Because of the sale issue they could argue that the fact it is out of time should not invalidate the NIP because they made reasonable efforts to contact the registered keeper.
But if you don't respond to the S172 request naming the driver without qualification they will just charge you with failing to identify which is probably what they are hoping you will do.
If you nominated yourself saying that was a best guess then that doesn't comply with S172. But it is obviously better than making a false nomination.
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