I was debating with my country in laws the issue of how a blind eye seems to be turned to learner drivers down the country who drive unaccompanied. I was insisting that unaccompanied learner drivers should be prosecuted (and fined up to €1,000 per offence) but I got the same old arguments i.e. "it's not practical when we live X miles from anywhere" or "sure I'm only doing the school run and not harming anyone" and similar.
Unfortunately I hadn't boned up on what if any other punishments can be levied on unaccompanied learner drivers if they are stopped and prosecuted. Can someone here with actual knowledge of the relevant law (maybe a Garda, driving instructor or solicitor) spell out the potential punishments if a learner driver is caught driving unaccompanied other than a fine of up to €1,000? Can they have points added to their license? Have their license revoked? Be put off the road for X months/years?
Also, what's the story with their insurance? Assuming they have standard 3rd party insurance in their own name or are driving "Mammy's car" as a named driver is their insurance completely invalid if they drive unaccompanied? What happens if an unaccompanied learner has an accident? Is the damage to the other persons car not covered by the learner drivers insurance? What if there is a juvenile passenger in the learner drivers car (say a 12 year old brother/sister) and they are injured, would their injuries not by covered by the learner drivers insurance because there wasn't a licensed driver in the car accompanying the learner driver?
I'm heading back down to see the out/inlaws at the weekend and want to be fully prepared this time so please please please enlighten me on the subject