Any drink driving related conviction under the Road Traffic Act 1988, such as driving or attempting to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol, will carry a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 60 months depending on the specific circumstances of each individual case.
Section 34A(2) Of The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988
Section 34A(2) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides certain provisions whereby a disqualification for drink driving may be reduced. This is done in cases where the court makes an order for the offender to satisfactorily complete an approved course. Such a course is often known as a ‘Drink Driving Course’. Successful completion of the course would reduce the period of disqualification by up to one quarter.
The aim in completing such a course is for offenders to benefit from learning about the problems associated with drink driving in an effort to reduce the risk of re-offending. The course is a group run course, which will consist of a combination of techniques as detailed below:
- Short talks
- Group discussions
- Visual presentations
- Information leaflets
- Self-observation records of behaviour, sometimes known as ‘drink diaries’
- Group worksheet exercises
- Role play
- Attendance of guest speakers such as police officers and victims of drink drivers
- Behaviour analysis, assessing performance and setting objectives
The courses are available at various venues across the country and must be approved as a provider of the course by the Secretary of State. The course should last for a minimum of 16 hours across a minimum of 3 sessions over a minimum period of 15 days. The number of offenders on a course should be at a maximum of 20 but not less than 4.
On completion of the drink driving course the course provider will complete a certificate of completion and forward this to the court who will then notify the DVLA of the reduced period of disqualification.
Following the DVLA being notified of the reduction in disqualification, the offender will then need to apply directly to the DVLA for a new driving licence before the disqualification period ends.
In cases where an offender has been referred to complete a drink driving course but has failed to do so, the course provider will issue a non-completion notice to the court and the reduction in disqualification would be unenforceable.