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VMCL the Alcohol and Drug Education Specialists

Government Legislation



The Court Hearing

The Court Hearing

The Hearing relating to a drink driving offence is similar to that of other offences, until sentencing has taken place.  If the accused is found guilty, a sentence is pronounced, this will normally include a ban from driving for a minimum of 12 months, plus a fine or probation order, community service or a custodial sentence.

After sentencing, the Court may offer the offender the option to participate in the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme.  If the offender accepts, the Court will indicate the reduction in the disqualification period which will be allowed if the course is completed and paid for in full.

The Court will provide two dates:

  • the date on which the reduced ban ends
  • the date by which the course must be completed

The reduction in the driving ban will be for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 25% of the original ban.  The course must be completed at least 2 months before the end of the reduced ban.

Attitudes to this scheme differ in various parts of the UK.  As a result, some Courts may not offer your client the opportunity to attend a course.  In these circumstances, it is important that you or your client ask the Court, at the time of the hearing, whether he/she can be referred.  A referral to an approved course is an order made at the time of sentencing and will be recorded in full on the Court Register (the Court Minutes in Scotland).  A referral to the Scheme cannot be made at a later date unless the case is re-opened and, whilst this is not impossible, it is very unlikely.

Recommendations:

  • As each training provider differs, be aware of the variations in the number and location of the training venues they provide and the quality standards to which they adhere.
  • Check the price and method of payment for the course; unlike VMCL, not all training providers allow payment by instalments and some have a broad band of charges, making it difficult for your client to clearly identify their costs in advance.  Our course fee starts at just £147, if a place is booked within two months of the Court date.  For bookings made after two months, the fee rises to £157.
  • Provide your client with full details of the Scheme before the Hearing, so that they are aware of the offer being made.
  • Ensure that you request your client's inclusion in the Scheme, if the Court does not offer it.
  • Telephone VMCL (01793 744110); we can provide you with information leaflets free of charge, which you can hand to your clients.

Drink Driving Courses

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