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Reduce your driving ban with a drink-drive rehabilitation course

James Watkins - Law on the Web

  1. 04 June 2015
  2. Cars and Motoring
  3. 0 comments
Alcohol and car keys

If you receive a driving ban for a drink driving conviction, you may be able to get your licence back early by taking a drink-driving rehabilitation course.

However, not everyone will have the chance to take one. Here is some helpful information about drink driving courses and how one could help you.

Who is eligible for a drink-drive rehabilitation course?

You may be offered the opportunity to take a drink-drive rehabilitation course by the court if you have been banned for drink driving for a year or more. Taking and successfully completing the course will reduce your ban by a quarter – for example, if you were banned for a year, your ban will be reduced to 9 months.

Bear in mind that courses are offered at the court’s discretion, and you do not have the right to demand that you be allowed to take a course to reduce your driving ban.

Finding a drink-drive rehabilitation course

Different drink-drive rehabilitation courses in England and Scotland are run by different providers – GOV.UK has a service which can help you find course providers close to you.

If you live in Wales, you can find a list of approved providers here. Courses in Northern Ireland are all provided by the TTC Group – you can book a course on the TTC website.

You will need to pay for the course yourself – course prices vary depending on the course provider, costing from £150-£250. Some courses offer a concessionary fee for people on Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, and certain other benefits, meaning that people on these benefits can pay a lower fee to take the course.

Some providers charge extra for weekend courses and late bookings, and some will allow you to pay your course fees in installments.

What to expect from the course

You may look at a drink-driving rehabilitation course as simply a way to reduce your driving ban, but the main intention of the courses is educate attendees and prevent them from offending again.

Drink driving courses will vary somewhat from provider to provider, but they must all conform to a syllabus laid down by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

The syllabus is split into two main units, each with different specific goals.

Unit 1: Understand the impact of alcohol use in relation to driving

This unit is designed to ensure that the participant is aware of the negative impact of drink driving, in terms of its dangers and how a conviction can affect your life. As part of the unit, participants should learn about the law on drink driving, assess their own drinking habits, and accept responsibility for their drink driving conviction.

Unit 2: Change alcohol use in relation to driving

This unit helps the participant to change the behaviour that lead them to get their drink driving conviction by setting goals and helping them to identify and avoid triggers that could cause them to drink drive again.

More information on drink driving

You can find more information in our drink driving section. If you have a conviction for drink driving, you should read our Rehabilitation of Offenders section for information on when your conviction will become “spent”, meaning you will not need to tell employers about it.

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