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Okay, so that answer is a little bit short and unlike most answers you get from lawyers it’s not qualified by any if’s and but’s. Nonetheless, you should always accept the course if it’s offered by a sentencing court.
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 course; 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.
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 - £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.
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 adrink driving allegation – we are here to help people in your position so feel free to call us on 020 8242 4440.