A taxi driver from Somerset has seen their licence REVOKED after the licensing authority took decisive action against allegations of the cabbie driving STONED with passengers onboard.
Earlier this month, Sedgemoor District Council Licensing Panel were asked to consider whether the action taken by the Licensing Team in revoking ‘Driver X’s’ Hackney Driver’s licence should be endorsed or replaced by an alternative action following receipt of a common law disclosure notice from the Police.
The disclosure made by the Police related to an allegation of driving whilst over the prescribed limit for cannabis on 25 September 2022. Given the seriousness of the offence and the fact that this was the second such reported offence within 6 months, the Licensing Team took the decision on 12 October 2022 to revoke their licence.
In a decision notice released to the public, it detailed that the Licensing Panel had taken into consideration the Council’s Guidance and Statement of Policy, the Government’s Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Licensing Best Practice Guidance, the DFT National Minimum Standards for Hackney & Private Hire licences and the Guidance produced by the Institute of Licensing and current case law.
Ultimately, it was decided that the driver did not meet the required “fit and proper person” levels to hold and continue to hold such a licence.
Driver X’s case appeared before the Panel on 9 November following the revocation of their licence by the Licensing Team. It was accepted that both alleged offences were still unproven and remained under investigation.
After analysing the evidence the Panel reached a decision. The Licensing Panel concluded: “Having balanced all these considerations it was the decision of the Panel that the actions of Driver X in May 2022 and 25 September 2022 fell well below the standards expected of a licensed taxi driver. Whether the consumption of cannabis resulted in a criminal conviction or not, any driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs within a licensed taxi was unacceptable and unworthy of someone who should be seen as a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.
“It is therefore the decision of the Panel that the decision of the Licensing Team to revoke their licence was justified and in accordance with the Council’s licensing policy and the relevant guidance, the Panel confirmed that in the interests of public safety Driver X’s Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence shall remain revoked.”