A number of reports in the news lately have shown that some drivers are mistakenly getting back behind the wheel because they think their disqualification has ended, they have been punished severely for their blunder.
The penalties for drink driving itself are certainly plentiful – including a possible 3 month imprisonment, £2,500 fine and a driving ban imposed on top, andthat’s only for being in charge of the vehicle.
If you are caught actually driving or attempting to drive then you can double the prison term, the fine and your ban could last at least a year – and it’s the same if you refuse to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine. Therefore, being caught driving before your disqualification term is up has serious repercussions.
However, there are a number of steps you need to follow to ensure you get your licence back as soon as you are eligible. Quote Me Today are insurance brokers who specialise in competitive insurance for drivers that have been disqualified, they advise that firstly it is important to understand whether you are classed as what is called a High Risk Offender (HRO), Courts do not automatically tell you this and the process differs for you, you’ll only get your licence back if you pass a medical examination.
You will fall into the HRO category if any of the following apply to you:
At the time of disqualification, the level of alcohol was equal to or more than:
- 87.5 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath;
- 200 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood; or,
- 267.5 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.
- You have been disqualified twice within 10 years
- You have been disqualified for refusing to or failing to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.
- The process to regain your licence
- You will be sent a form 90 days before your disqualification ends
- You will need to undergo a medical examination to determine when you are considered medically fit to drive again, which will involve the following:
- A questionnaire about your medical history and alcohol consumption
- A physical examination
- Urine and blood tests
- You will need to pay the doctor for your medical examination and you will also have to pay a fee for your driving licence. You can find out about fees at www.direct.gov.uk/drivingwww.direct.gov.uk/driving.
- You may wish to consider going on a drink-drive rehabilitation course which reduces the disqualification period, allowing you to apply for a licence sooner.
It is important to remember that if the medical finds evidence of either persistent alcohol abuse within the last 6 months or dependency within the last 12 months, as well as current misuse or dependency, you will not be able to get your licence back.
For non HRO:
- You will be sent a licence application form 56 days before your disqualification ends
If you do not receive this, then you can order the D1 form from www.direct.gov.uk/motoringformswww.direct.gov.uk/motoringforms or from post offices.
It is important to remember that if you receive your licence back before your disqualification ends, you will not be able to drive until this has finished. Quote Me Today also point out that it is worth noting if you are disqualified again in the next 10 years, you will automatically fall into the HRO category.
Jason Markham, from Quote Me Today a broker specialising in Disqualified Driver Insurance, comments: ‘When losing your licence, particularly being in the HRO category, means that your insurance is likely to increase significantly. Not having a valid licence will also invalidate your insurance. It is therefore important that you take the right steps to ensure you only get behind the wheel of a car again when you are completely sure your ban has ended. There are other factors you need to consider, such as your employer being able to see your conviction on your licence, and you may have difficulty travelling to certain countries, such as the USA. So anything you can do to reduce your ban, such as a a rehabilitation course is always worth considering.’
For more information on driving safely and best chance of reducing your insurance following a disqualification, visit www.quotemetoday.co.uk. They can also provide advice in other areas, that might apply to you, such as goods in transit insurance if you will be driving for work.