The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 will enable judges to jail drivers who kill for life

The new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act will grant judges the power to give dangerous or careless drivers who kill anyone while under the influence of drink or drugs a life sentence.

Dominic Raab, the UK’s Justice Secretary, welcomed the introduction of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act:

“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.”

The law will also include the creation of a new offence,  causing serious injury by careless driving.  From Tuesday, this is an offence those who inflict long-term or permanent injury on others as a result of their driving could be charged with.

New rules for jurors with hearing loss

However, the new law goes further than providing more stringent ways to prosecute dangerous and careless drivers and jail drivers who kill for life.

It also covers provisions linked to providing better protection for the police, tackling serious violent crimes and sexual offences (including voyeurism of breast-feeding), public order offences, domestic abuse and – because of recent high profile instances – criminal damage to memorials.

In addition, Judges will finally be able to give jurors with hearing difficulties permission to bring sign language interpreters into their deliberations.

Previously, only the twelve sworn jurors could enter the deliberation room.  This meant that if any juror had hearing loss, they would either be precluded from joining in the discussions or be unable to confidently contribute if they felt they had not been able to hear enough during deliberations.

Mr Raab was again positive about this change:

“The right to be judged by your peers dates back to Magna Carta, and is a cornerstone of our justice system.  We’re changing the law so that many more deaf people have the opportunity to carry out this important civic duty.”

If you or your client have been charged with a driving offence, our specialist criminal barristers can help.  Please contact us today to find out more.