Being called to an interview “under caution” by the DVSA is very serious. A bad outcome can have a serious impact on your business and your reputation. In some cases, it can also lead to criminal prosecutions.
Operators and drivers should make sure they understand:
- Who the DVSA are
- What an interview “under caution” is
- Your legal rights
- What you can do to get the best outcome possible
Who are the DVSA?
The DVSA stands for the “Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency”. They used to be known as VOSA. Their role includes:
- Making sure lorries and buses are safe to drive
- Carrying out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles
- Investigating and questioning operator licence holders and drivers suspected of breaking the rules
- Assisting the Traffic Commissioners at Public Inquiry
- Prosecuting operators and drivers suspected of committing transport offences
You can find more information about DVSA investigations here.
What is a DVSA Interview Under Caution?
A DVSA interview under caution is a key stage in most DVSA investigations. This form of interview is used when the DVSA believe that a criminal offence may have been committed. Because of this, it will start with the words:
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
The interview is usually conducted by a Traffic Examiner and will be recorded. It can form the basis of a future prosecution or Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner. Because of this, the entire process can be very intimidating and it is essential that you know your legal rights.
Your Legal Rights
When interviewed under caution by the DVSA your legal rights include:
- Having a lawyer present, or rescheduling the interview to allow you time to arrange one and to take legal advice
- Choosing not to answer questions
- Being free to leave at any time
- Pausing the interview for further legal advice
The Benefits of Instructing a Transport Lawyer
Getting legal advice before your interview from a specialist transport lawyer can make a huge difference to the outcome of the interview. They will be able to:
- Contact the DVSA beforehand to find out what the evidence against you is and what questions you are likely to be asked
- Work with you to collate any documentation that could help you
- Accompany you during the interview to advise you and protect your rights
If the DVSA investigation has uncovered problems with the way you operate your trucks or buses, a transport lawyer can help you rectify these problems. This can help enormously if you are later called to a Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner.
The Traffic Commissioner will expect an operator to urgently fix compliance problems identified by the DVSA. For instance, you may need to change your maintenance arrangements.
How We Can Help
At Rothera Sharp our Road Transport lawyers have extensive experience representing operators, transport managers and drivers in all road transport matters, including:
- DVSA interviews under caution and investigations
- Public Inquiry and Driver Conduct Hearings with the Traffic Commissioner
- Representation in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court
We offer free initial consultations and fixed fees. Speak to a transport lawyer today on 0115 9106218.