Learner Driver Laws

Learner Driver

My 18 year old son wants to start driving over the summer months. Please
explain the rules applicable to learner drivers. Would I find myself in difficulty
with the Gardai if he gets into an accident whilst driving my car to his


Up until December 22 nd 2018 the law provided that learner drivers had to be accompanied by
someone holding a full licence of at least two years standing. If the learner driver was caught
driving unaccompanied they faced a maximum fine of €1,000. The person who owned the
car would not face any punishment.

However, the current law now ensures that both the learner driver and the vehicle owner will
be held equally responsible while also giving Gardaí more power. Anyone who loans a car to
an unaccompanied learner driver could face fines of up to €2,000 or six months in prison if
prosecuted. Gardaí will also have the power to seize the vehicle driven by an unaccompanied
learner driver.
The measures will apply to all vehicles, including private cars, agricultural vehicles and
commercial vehicles. Incidentally, the amended Road Traffic Act also amended the law pertaining to drink-driving
penalties to ensure that a mandatory driving ban is handed down to all those caught drink-

Previously, a motorist who was detected driving with between 50 and 80 milligrams of
alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood received penalty points and a fine for a first offence. The
law now provides that a mandatory driving ban will be handed down for a first drink-driving
offence if a motorist has a blood/alcohol level of above 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

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