Jun 20 2022

Reduce your driving ban by completing a drink driving course

·       Courts can allow you to take a drink driving awareness course that will reduce your driving ban by up to 25%.

·       If you don’t accept the course at the sentencing hearing, you will not be able to get the discount on sentence later.

·       The court is not obliged to allow you to take the course.

·       We can persuade the court to offer you the course.

What is the drink driving rehabilitation course?

It is a course that aims to teach offenders why drink driving is wrong and what 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 can be completed in stages, or over a weekend, depending on the options offered by the provider you choose.

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, to be fair, that is the length 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’ll also find that some motor insurers will reduce your premium for undertaking the drink driving rehabilitation course.

The AA claim that 99% of people taking their course pass, so I’d suggest it can’t be that hard a course to pass.

Who can do the course?

You can only take the course if you have been convicted of a drink driving offence and disqualified from driving for at least 12-months.  If you have avoided the disqualification because you successfully argued a special reason then you cannot take the course.

The court may offer you the opportunity to take the court; they do not have to make the offer.  Many 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.

Although judges and magistrates don’t like offering the course to repeat offenders or those with high alcohol levels it is still possible to get the course and the disqualification reduction – I know because I’ve managed it for many clients in that position.

What if I change my mind after the court hearing?

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 - £210 on a course but you are not committed to completing the course when you accept the court’s offer.  Although you do have to choose a course provider at court, you are not committed to completing the course at all.  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 on so you will not be able to avail yourself of the discount.

We always ask the court to allow our clients to take the drink driving course to ensure our clients receive the shorted disqualification possible.

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 to call us on 020 8242 4440.