Thursday, 14 August 2014

Love Your Boss...and your fellow motorist!!!

Guest Blog By Stephen Oldham

National Hug Your Boss Day Blog

14 August 2014 is National Hug Your Boss Day. You can find out more about it at the National Hug Your Boss Day website.

Everybody needs a hug from time-to-time – wouldn’t the world be a better place if everything could be resolved with a hug?

We have to deal with some pretty difficult cases here at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors. We regularly defend cases of drink driving. Quite often our clients’ stories are quite heart breaking – they face losing their jobs and homes if they are banned from driving. We are always really pleased when justice is done and they manage to keep their licence.

How much better a good hug rather than a long court battle would be.

Russell Brand

We have been inspired by National Hug Your Boss Day and by comedian Russell Brand who intervened on Tottenham Court Road in London when he saw a driver and a cyclist get into an argument. Instead of just walking by Russell administered a big embrace to all concerned and they went happily on their way. (Picture from @Joe_Stas on Twitter.)

Maybe we should take a leaf out of Russell Brand's book and hug one another instead of getting hot under the collar when someone cuts us up!

We think that all of these common driving offences could be resolved with a big hug. We know that we would be putting ourselves out of a job but we would be more than happy to administer the scheme and set up a hug bank.

Drink Driving

Driving with excess alcohol is a pretty serious offence. It results in a minimum driving ban of 12 months and in the worst cases can mean 6 months in prison.

We suggest the following alternative penalties:
  • Drink drivers who are stopped by the police but there is no accident: A big hug to the policeman (or woman) and a small hug to anyone nearby to say sorry for putting them in danger.

  • Drink drivers who have an accident: A hug to the ambulance driver if s/he attends and three hugs to the magistrates (one hug each).

  •  Drink drivers who are more than 3½ times overthe drink driving limit: Normally the magistrates will think about a prison sentence for anyone who provides a reading of 120µg per 100 ml of breath. So, the only hugs available are hugs in the prison visiting room. Geoffrey Miller Solicitors have never had a client sent to prison on a charge of drink driving alone (even when the reading was over 120, and we’ve seen a few!!) Hugs all round.


Low speeds of up to 10% plus 9 mph over the speed limit (e.g. 42 mph in a 30 zone or 86 mph in a 70 zone) usually mean that the police will offer driver education or a speed awareness course. We think that trip out to the speeding site and a big hug of the speed camera would fit the bill just fine. The speed camera could even capture the moment to prove that the driver has done your duty.

We understand that drivers who go at much higher speeds will have to receive a tougher penalty but we really don’t think that public humiliation is the right thing. Rather than a driving ban how about a hug for your car to show it how much you care and how you don’t want to put it in danger by driving it too fast.

The law says that a driver who gets 12 penalty points or more should be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 6 months. We think that drivers should be able to cancel some of their points by offering a big hug to anyone who wants one. If the hugees (this is a legal term for the recipient of a hug) are satisfied then they could write to DVLA and one penalty point could be removed from their licence per hug. How about a massive hugging park with a big screen outside the DVLA office in Swansea?

It’s pretty unlikely that our plans will be put in place but do not despair. If you get 12 points then the magistrates have a discretion to allow you to keep your licence if you (or someone else) will suffer exceptional hardship. If this happens to you then call Jeanette Miller at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors where a team of specialist solicitors can advise you about your case. We have a great record for helping drivers to keep their licence.

Our boss might even throw in a big hug too!!!