Are You A High-Risk Offender? – The Reason Why Your Ban Might Be longer Than Expected or Indefinite!
There are many defendants convicted of drink driving offences who leave the Courtroom with a belief as to the actual length of the driving disqualification which had just been imposed. But for a significant number further down the line they will be shocked to discover it could be far longer. For some it could be indefinite.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no definitive legal ‘right’ to hold a driving licence in the United Kingdom. Being of at least 17 years of age and having passed both parts your driving test and not otherwise being disqualified doesn’t guarantee you a right to a driving licence.
To be clear, the Secretary of State for Transport has the legal right, where justified in the circumstances, to withhold a driving licence. A drink drive conviction is one of the circumstances where a driver may be deemed a ‘high-risk’.
But what is a High-Risk Offender (HRO)?
The HRO scheme applies to drivers convicted of the following:
1. Disqualification for driving or being in charge of a vehicle when the level of alcohol in the body equalled or exceeded either one of these measures:
– 87.5 mcg per 100 ml of Breath
– 200.0 mg per 100 ml of Blood
– 267.5 mg per 100 ml of Urine
2. Two disqualifications within 10 years for drink-driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
3. One disqualification for refusing or failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis.
4. One disqualification for refusing to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood for alcohol analysis.
If I fall into one or more of the categories, will I be able to apply to get my licence back?
It means that at the end of your disqualification period, your licence will not be returned.
So how do I get my licence back then?
You will need to have a medical assessment of your suitability to hold a driving licence; this will consist of three parts as explained below:
- A Questionnaire
- Serum CDT (Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin) Assay tests
- Any further testing indicated as being required.
If a driving licence is awarded, the ’til 70 licence is restored for a Group 1 car and motorcycle driving. Also, consideration may be given for a Group 2 licence.
If a high-risk offender (HRO) has a previous history of alcohol misuse or dependence but has given satisfactory examination and blood tests, a short period driving licence may be issued for ordinary and vocational entitlement, but it is dependent on the drivers ability to meet the required standards as specified above.
A HRO found to have a current history of alcohol dependence or misuse or unexplained abnormal blood test results is likely to have the application refused. It is in those circumstances it is possible that a HRO who may never be able satisfy the above, may never get their driving licence returned.
As a HRO what steps can I take?
You are likely to need to reduce your alcohol intake significantly if you are regularly consuming large quantities of alcohol, otherwise, this pattern of alcohol abuse will reveal itself when the blood sample is analysed (for liver function markers).
Why did the court not warn me about this?
Unfortunately, in our experience, defendants are often not advised of this consequence relating to drink driving convictions. Our motoring lawyers regularly take calls from HRO wanting advice on what they can do about it.
Can I Appeal?
Yes you can. We have a dedicated team of driving offence experts who are ready, able and willing to assist you through the process.
If you would like to discuss this further with one of our experts, then please contact Nick Terry or Gwyn Lewis on insert number