Licence withheld after disqualification for drink driving?


High Risk Offenders and disqualification

Many people convicted of driving with excess alcohol leave court with a pretty clear idea as to the length of their driving disqualification. Sadly  there can be  a shock further down the line.

You do not have a  ‘right’ to hold a driving licence, just  becaue you passed a driving test. The DVLA has the legal right, where the circumstances justify it, to withhold a licence. This can happen after a drink driving conviction if the offender is deemed ‘high-risk’.

What is a high-risk offender?

The high-risk offender scheme applies to drink driving offenders convicted and diaqualified  for offences of driving or being in charge of a vehicle when the level of alcohol in the body equalled or exceeded either one of:

  • 87.5 mcg per 100 ml of breath
  • 200.0 mg per 100 ml of blood
  • 267.5 mg per 100 ml of urine

In broad terms conviction where alcohol levels are 2 ½ times or over the drink drive limit.

  • two disqualifications within the space of 10 years for drink-driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • one disqualification for refusing or failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis.
  • one disqualification for refusing to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood for alcohol analysis.

If I fall into one of those categories, what does it mean?

It means that at the end of your disqualification period, your licence will not be returned.

How do I get my licence back?

After any period of disqualification for Drink or Drug driving whether high risk or not you will need to apply for your licence to be reinstated on form D27 as detailed here. Unfortunately there is additional cost as  the fee is £90 if you are high risk and £65 if not. You will also have to pay the DVLA appointed medical examiner usually on the day of examination.

The medical

You will have to have  a medical assessment of your suitability if you are high risk.  You will:

  • complete a questionnaire about your medical history and use of alcohol
  • have a medical
  • have your blood tested

If you pass the tests you will get your licence back for Group 1 car and motorcycle driving.

If you pass the tests then DVLA will issue a licence. Of course you will need to  continue to meet the medical  standards specified.

Failed the test?

On the other hand a high-risk offender who continues to abuse alcohol and who has unexplained abnormal blood test results will have the application for a licence refused.

What does this mean in practice?

If you are a heavy drinker you will need to reduce your alcohol consumption. If you do not the blood test will be positive for alcohol misuse.  Liver function markers can show high levels of alcohol consumption even if you have not drunk before the test for some considerable time,

I wish my solicitor had told me?

Unfortunately, our experience shows that clients are not always advised of this hidden consequence of drink driving. We always alert clients to the risk that their license may be withheld after the period of the ban has been served.

Can I appeal?

Yes you can. We have solicitors ready and able to assist you.

You have the right to appeal to a magistrates court about a decision to withhold or revoke your driving licence by the DVLA. You must  appeal to the magistrates court within 6 months.

We can help

If you would like further advice about this topic and an indication of the likely cost, then please contact 02089868336 or e mail [email protected]

Jamie Ritchie Partner in Criminal Department

Keith Hollywood, Solicitor, Moss & Co

Kith Hollywood solcitor

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