Agenda item

Review of Combined Drivers Licence


The Chair invited the Licensing Team Leader to present the report of the Senior Licensing Enforcement Officer. The Licensing Team Leader outlined the circumstances as set out in the report. The Committee heard from the Licence Holder and the Licence Holder’s representative and from the Licence Holder’s character witnesses.


The Licence Holder’s Representative representing the Licence Holder, explained to the Committee that upon reinstating the Licence Holder’s licence they must have considered that he did not pose a public risk. He continued that since his licence was reinstated he has not had a single incident, complaint or allegation made against him and nor has he committed any other offences. The Licence Holder has been known to him for over 20 years and he stated that he is honest and decent. The Licence Holder regrets the incident and had no intention to drive the vehicle hence the court only gave him 10 points and he is deeply sorry for what happened.


The Licence Holder’s Representative continued stating that the Licence Holder has 10 children, 6 of whom are of school age, 9 are his own and 1 is his wife’s child. Two of his children have special needs and one has physical disabilities. His wife suffers from a respiratory disease and cannot walk far and does not work. Additionally, he takes out two loans a year, one for an annual holiday and one for Christmas presents. All of the aforementioned places immense pressure on the Licence Holder who has worked long hours to support his family and he usually only takes holiday on 25 December each year. On the night of the incident in question the Licence Holder was tired having worked long hours and from his stressful situation. He saw the bottle and thought that he would stop working and have a drink.


In response to questions from Members, the Licence Holder stated:


a)    The Licence Holder is truly sorry for what happened and has changed his behaviour since, working shorter hours;

b)    The Licence Holder has not drunk since;

c)    The Licence Holder was not thinking clearly at the time of the incident;

d)    The Licence Holder accepts his conduct was wrong;

e)    The Licence Holder should not have parked on the crossing outside the school;

f)     The Licence Holder would not have driven until late the following afternoon.




The Committee had carefully considered the information in the report, the presentations made by Mr Shand at the hearing and the responses to the questions asked of Mr Shand.


The Committee made the following findings:


A.   That there were a number of matters recorded against Mr Shand.

B.   He had accepted these had occurred. 

C.   He has indicated that he has changed his ways, cut down on the amount of hours that he works and not drunk since.

D.   He appeared to be motivated by his wish to provide for his family and he has placed himself under severe pressure which culminated in this incident.

E.   The Court appear to have been satisfied that he had no intention to drive the vehicle on the night in question.

F.    Those who have spoken on his behalf have indicated that he is hard working, trustworthy, puts his customers first and is of good character.  They accepted that the incident was serious however, this is out of character for him.  

G.   That while the matters on his record are serious, the mitigating information provided suggests that this is the case justifying a departure from the Council’s policy.

That while the matters on his record are serious, the mitigating information provided suggests that this is a case justifying a departure from the Council’s policy.


Accordingly, the Committee determines that it should SUSPEND the licence holder’s combined hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence for a period of 6 weeks and requires him to take the Advanced Driving Test.


The REASONS for the decision are as follows:


1.    There are a considerable number of matters on the licence holder’s record over a period of time. The most recent, relating to the licence holder’s conviction for being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol was very serious.

2.    This convictions alone clearly contravenes the Council’s policy and guidelines on convictions and would normally mean that the Council would not entertain an application for a licence for a period of at least three (3) years.

3.    The primary concern is the protection of the public and establishing whether the licence application presents a risk.

4.    They have listened carefully to what has been said about the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence.

5.    They have noted that he has made changes to his behaviour and his working pattern as a result of what has happened and shows that he has learned from the experience. 

6.    Mr. Shand’s friends and colleagues have assisted the Committee in understanding more about Mr. Shand and his situation. 

7.    In the circumstances the appropriate course of action is suspension of Mr. Shand’s licence and a requirement to take the Advanced Driving test.  The minimum period of suspension which can reflect the seriousness of this matter is a period of six (6) weeks.