Death by driving sentencing guideline

Death by driving offences are of significant public concern and, involving loss of life, are very serious in nature. The circumstances of these cases can be incredibly complex, often requiring sentencers to make difficult assessments about the level of an offender’s culpability (which can vary significantly) in relation to the serious harm caused.

We believe that a guideline would be of particular assistance to the judiciary, aiding consistency in sentencing, and would help to improve public understanding of sentencing practice in these cases.

We note that the UK Government has announced its intention to increase penalties for various death by driving offences. Subject to the specific decisions taken in that regard, there could be implications for the timescales for development of this guideline and we will keep this under review as work on the guideline progresses.

Currently at stage: 2

Death by driving committee


Public perceptions of sentencing in Scotland exploring causing death by driving offences (18/02/2021)
Death by driving literature review (01/10/2018)