So what does it take to end up being banned from driving for a year or more? One instance would be failing to stop at a red light, drinking and driving, excessive speeding, it can vary widely. A discretionary driving ban can be imposed by the courts for a variety of reasons, one of them being in the case of you receiving 12 or more penalty points on your license, or 6 points within the first year of driving. The courts have guidelines as to when to and not to impose a driving ban, certain traffic offences will result in a discretionary driving ban whereas others depend on the individual's driving history or the circumstances of the offence being considered.
In most cases the ban will take effect immediately such as in the cases of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident, or when the police ask you to stop, driving when disqualified, failing to stop at a red light and extreme speeding offences. Once a ban has been imposed any driver in this instance can make a plea against this decision, normally due to the extreme hardship that a driving ban would cause the individual - this is normally in the case of when a driver claims that they would be unable to continue to hold down their job if they were unable to drive. This is not always accepted by the courts though and the defendant would need to produce a case that would convince the courts that a driving ban would impose hardship on individuals other than the driver as in the case of family members, children, elderly relatives and the ability to attend hospital appointments. In those cases the courts have been known on numerous occasions to commute the sentence to a fine and penalty points, sometimes a driving retest or speed awareness course.
Once a driving ban has been imposed either automatic or by the courts, it takes effect immediately. Your license will be kept by the courts and sent on to the DVLA, you would have to notify your insurance company immediately and your insurance company would not cover you for driving while under the ban. If the driving ban is for a year then you have to re apply for a driving license, as your old license is now invalid. It does not in normal circumstances count as a criminal offence or cause a criminal record except when a more serious offence was commited at the same time or in the case of dangerous driving or a person was killed as a result of your driving.
Normally all driving offences are sent to the magistrates courts, and you will not have a criminal record afterwards. If you are subject to a driving ban you will not be able to drive any motorized vehicle, this includes motor cylces and mopeds. You would also not be entitled to drive abroad unless you were able to get a license for that country after passing that country's driving test and it would still mean you were not entitled to drive in the UK until the ban has expired. If your ban was for less than 56 days you would not need to re apply for a new license as your license would be returned to you after the period of disqualification is over. If the ban is for longer than 56 days you have to re apply and if you do not re apply for a license then you would remain disqualified.