When you can take a drink-drive rehabilitation course to reduce your driving ban, what it costs, and what happens when you’ve done it.
When you can take a course
A magistrate can decide to offer you the chance to take a drink-drive rehabilitation course if:
- you’re found guilty of a drink-drive offence
- you get a ban of 12 months or more
This includes the following offences:
- driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol in your breath, blood or urine
- failing to provide a specimen
Reducing the length of your ban
The court reduce the length that you’re banned from driving if you complete the course within a certain time. The ban is usually reduced by a quarter.
Deciding to take a course
You have to decide in court, when you are found guilty and if offered a referral, if you want to take a course or not. You won’t be able to change your mind at a later date.
Before going to court you can find a course that you want to be referred to if you are found guilty and banned from driving.
Choose a course to take
The court will:
- ask you to choose a suitable course
- fill in a court referral order which is sent to the course provider
Cost of the course
The course can cost up to a maximum of £250.
You can change to another course provider at any point before you book yourself onto a course, without charge.
You must tell the course provider you’d originally chosen if you do want to change course provider. They will then send your referral to the new course provider.
After you’ve booked a course
When you’ve booked a course you’re subject to the terms and conditions you’ve agreed with the course provider.
You should do the course as soon as possible.
The course provider will contact you and give you more details of the courses available and when your course must be completed.
You’re responsible for making sure that you complete the course within the deadline.
During the course
The course aims to help you to change your behaviour so you don’t reoffend.
- are face-to-face
- take place over 16 hours (usually run on 3 days spread over 3 weeks)
- will have other drink-drive offenders at them
Read the course syllabus to find out what’s covered during the course.
After the course
You’ll be given a ‘certificate of course completion’ by the course provider when you complete the course. They will also send a copy to the court that sentenced you.
The court will tell DVLA so that your ban is reduced.
You’ll need to reapply for a driving licence and take a medical if you’re a ‘high risk offender’. You should check to see if you’re a high risk offender as the court may not have mentioned this. Check with your course provider if you’re unsure.
Complain about a course
Complain to the course provider if you’re not happy with the course.
Contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency if you’re not able to settle matters with the course provider.