A DRIVER living in Nantwich currently has 21 points on their driving licence, but is still allowed to drive.

A freedom of information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), made by the Guardian, has revealed that 202 people in Cheshire have the maximum 12 points or more given for driving penalties, but still hold a valid driving license.

Of those 202, 10 are for drivers only holding a provisional licence.

The figures show that in Crewe, there are eight people with a valid driving licence with 12 points, two with 13, two with 15, and one with 18.

In Nantwich, there are valid drivers with 12 points and one with 21.

The driver with the most points in Cheshire, still allowed to drive, has 24 points.

The DVLA explained that even though 12 penalty points should mean a driving ban, the courts often excersises their ‘discretion’ due to the likelihood that a disqualification would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ for the driver.

A spokesman for the DVLA said: “While DVLA maintains a record of all GB fixed penalties and court ordered endorsements, the agency has no responsibility for or influence on court imposed sentences.

“In England and Wales, the Magistrates Courts Sentencing Guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council provide a framework setting out how to establish the seriousness of each case and the most appropriate way of dealing with it.

“This helps the Magistrates Courts ensure that any penalty reflects the seriousness of the offence and the personal circumstances of the offender.

“In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver. In the majority of these cases, Magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would case exceptional hardship.”