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VMCL the Alcohol and Drug Education Specialists

Drink Drive Courses

Court Procedures

Court Procedures

Standing in front of a Court on a criminal charge is a daunting experience.

At VMCL we strongly recommend you obtain advice from a solicitor to ensure that you are completely aware of the process and how you should proceed.

If you are not going to be represented by a solicitor or lawyer, it is essential that you think through what you are going to say, before your case starts.

When you arrive at Court, you must report to the Usher, Court Officer, or Reception Desk - the procedure varies from Court to Court.

When your name is called, you will be conducted into Court and told where to stand. You will be asked questions to confirm your identity, and the charge will be read to you, after which you will be asked whether you plead 'guilty' or 'not guilty'.

The prosecution will outline the case against you - this will be more detailed if you plead 'not guilty'. You will then be given the opportunity to respond, ask questions of the prosecution and put your side of the case, including any mitigating circumstances.

You may be asked questions by the Court about your evidence, but there will be no trick questions. The aim of the Court is simply to get at the truth, so that the correct decision is made about your case and, if you are found guilty, that any penalty imposed is appropriate to the circumstances of the charge against you.

If you are found guilty of a drink drive charge, the Court may offer you the opportunity to attend a Drink Drive Course. Some Courts refer all drink drivers for training, whilst others choose to be more selective, which is sometimes difficult to understand, bearing in mind the preventative nature of the training and the excellent results that have been achieved over a number of years.

If you are not offered a place on the Drink Drive Scheme, but you wish to participate, it is important that you or your solicitor ask immediately that you be referred for training, as the decision must be made by the Court at the time of your Hearing. The only way you can access the course once your case has finished, is by going back to Court to ask for your case to be re-opened and this usually only occurs in exceptional circumstances.

If you are offered and accept the opportunity to attend a drink drive course, the Court will give you some additional information:

  • The reduction you will receive in your disqualification period for completing the course.
  • The date by which you must complete your training.
  • The date that your reduced disqualification period will end.

If you are found guilty, you will also be asked to hand over your driving licence.

Drink Driving Courses

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