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What are offence codes?

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Quick Answer

Offence codes are the legal code names for traffic offences in England, according to Gov.UK. Each offence code goes on the offender's driving record for either four or 11 years, depending on the severity of the violation.

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Full Answer

Offence codes consist of two letters and two numbers, according to the list at Gov.UK. The numbers denote what kind of offence was committed. For example, violations related to accidents begin with AC, while driving when disqualified by a court has a code beginning with BA. The duration of an offence code on a record varies depending on the code. While a violation with an offence code starting with DD, which denotes reckless or dangerous driving, stays on the record for four years, a violation with a code beginning with DR, which stands for "drink," stays on a driving record for 11 years from the conviction date.

Severity of each offence can additionally be measured by the number of "penalty points," on a scale of one to 11, states Gov.UK. Each violation has only one offence code, but the number of penalty points assigned can vary. For example, the offence of careless driving resulting in a death when the driver was under the influence of alcohol always has the offence code of CD40, but the number of penalty points can range from 3 to 11. Offence codes therefore stand for specific driving violations, but penalty points provide the severity of the individual incident.

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