Drink driving is a common driving offence which is considered to be serious and often carries severe penalties. These penalties may not be restricted to affecting your driving and can even cause you to lose your job or prevent you from persuing your chosen career path. Because of the severity of the offence it’s advisable that you contact a motoring offence solicitor to discuss your circumstances.
How Long Could I be Banned from Driving?
If you are convicted of drink driving, the Magistrates must disqualify you from driving for a minimum of 12 months. They cannot take into account the impact that a ban will have on you and those around you in their decision to impose a disqualification. The effect that the ban will have on you and your family will be treated as mitigation that the court can take into account when deciding on the level of your sentence.
However, in some cases, the court can find that there are “special reasons” in law not to ban you from driving. Examples are when your drink has been laced, you were driving a very short distance in circumstances where you would not pose a danger to anyone else or when you were driving in a true emergency situation.
How Long will the Driving Ban Remain on my License?
The driving ban will remain endorsed on your licence for 11 years and you will have to notify your insurance company of this and it is likely to have a significant impact on your insurance premiums. The Rehabilitation of Offender Act sets certain time limits, dependant on the sentence you receive, for when your drink driving conviction will be considered “spent” i.e. when you know longer have to disclose it for example to a potential employer.
For adults, if you are fined then the period is 5 years, if imprisoned up to 6 months the period is 7 years and other periods will apply dependent upon the community based sentence you receive. However, depending on the type of job you do, you may have to disclose your drink driving ban even after it would normally be spent e.g. if you are a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, a nurse, a chemist, a teacher or an accountant.