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How Can You Avoid or Reduce Disqualification?

When people are charged with and convicted of drink driving, it comes with a laundry list of legal and personal consequences. A driving ban can be one of the most difficult to adjust to, particularly if it impacts your ability to travel to work. Can you avoid or reduce the terms of your disqualification?

First, know that avoiding a driving ban is difficult; drink driving or driving while unfit results in a mandatory disqualification. A magistrate may be lenient if:

  • There is a ‘special reason’ that you committed the offense. For instance, if you were in fear for your life and had to exit your home.
  • You argue that the distance you drove was so short that no one was in danger. For instance, you drove just yards (e.g. from a street parking spot outside your home into your driveway).

These special reasons do not include the impact that a driving ban will have on your life or work or that you were only just above the legal limit.

Reducing a disqualification may be possible if you agree to a rehabilitation course, at your own cost (about £200). Completing the course may cut your ban by one-fourth. For instance, if your ban is for 1 year, it can be reduced to 8 months.

Worried about the £200? Consider your insurance. After a conviction, your rates will skyrocket. Attending a rehabilitation course can bring them down to reasonable, if not pre-conviction, levels.

If you were handed a ban of 2 years, you can petition the court to lift the ban after 2 years or halfway through your ban (e.g. 5 years into a 10 year ban). Here, the magistrate may take into account the impact of the ban on your life, as well as the steps you’ve taken to amend your behaviour.

A disqualification can represent a significant difficulty; ask your legal counsel if you can reduce or avoid it to minimise its impact.

12/11/2015 04:40