Drink driving rehabilitation course
If you are convicted of drink driving or failing to provide a specimen for analysis, the court may as you if you want to take the drink driving rehabilitation course. At first glance, you might wonder why you would want to make the consequence more onerous and expensive but there are good reasons to take part.
What is the drink driving rehabilitation course?
It is a course that aims to teach people convicted of drink driving about the consequences of driving while above the drink driving limit can be both for you and for others. The course lasts around 16-hours and it must be completed over two or more weeks. There are a lot of course providers and they will offer different course dates.
What’s in it for me?
Successfully completing the course will entitle you to a reduction in the length of your driving ban. The maximum reduction is 25% and that is the reduction in sentence that courts usually allow, although the magistrates can direct a shorter period if they so wish.
This means that a 12-month driving ban becomes a 9-month driving ban and a 24-month driving ban is reduced to an 18-month ban.
You will also find that some motor insurers will reduce your premium for undertaking the drink driving rehabilitation course.
You may have already done a speed awareness course. The drink driving course is similar but longer. The AA claim 99% of people taking their version of the course pass, which suggests it is quite easy to get through.
Who can do the course?
You can only take the course if you have been convicted of drink driving or failing to provide a specimen for analysis and you have been disqualified from driving for at least 12-months. This means that if you have received a ban shorter than 12-months you cannot reduce it by taking the course. Bans of less than 12-months are common for failing to provide where you were in charge rather than driving.
There is no equivalent course for drug drivers at the time of writing (Dec 2020), although there have been proposals to create such a course for some time. As the rates of drug driving convictions continue to increase, we expect to see courses being approved by the government.
The court may offer you the opportunity to take the course; they do not have to make the offer. Some judges take the view that if you have a high reading or have previous convictions then they will not offer the course. This is where an experienced drink driving solicitor can help a lot. We have successfully persuaded courts to allow client’s with high readings and multiple conviction to take the course on many occasions.
Am I committed to doing the course?
You might be facing a driving ban and a loss of income as a result, the last thing you probably want to think about is spending another £150 - £200 on a course but you are not committed to completing the course when you accept the court’s offer. If you do it you get the reduction from the DVLA, if you don’t then you’ll just serve the whole of your sentence.
However, if you refuse the course offer at court you cannot change your mind later so you will not be able to avail yourself of the discount.
My advice is always ask the court to allow you to take the course and accept if they offer it to you. You have nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain.
Don’t be afraid of asking for help if you are facing a drink driving allegation – we are here to help people in your position so feel free toget in touch via our contact page or call us on 020 8242 4440.