Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Is A Drink Driving Conviction For Life, Not Just for Christmas?

Guest Blog By Stephen Oldham, Solicitor Advocate at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors

As a specialist motoring solicitor I often find myself involved in court cases against the police.

This Christmas I have been pleased to see some good advice offered by Thames Valley Police via their drink driving twitter campaign.

On Tuesday December 20th they tweeted “A criminal record is for life, not just for Christmas.” The tweet was alongside their very interesting “Badvent” Calendar which caught my attention too!

I am often asked if a court conviction for drink driving counts as a criminal conviction. The answer is yes. It is also true that the conviction stays on your police record for ever. Some job applications (e.g. solicitor, police officer, teacher, many jobs in the health service) require you to declare the conviction forever. In other cases the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 applies. A person convicted of drink driving is considered to have been rehabilitated after 5 years if they were given a fine or a community sentence and after 7 years if they were sent to prison. The conviction stays on your driving licence for 11 years and counts for 10 years. There is a minimum disqualification from driving of 3 years for a second drink-driving offence in that 10 year period. Plus a repeat offender is classed as a High Risk Offender and would have to undergo a medical before they were allowed their licence back.

So a drink driving conviction has far reaching consequences....it may not be officially with you for life but it will certainly have lasting repercussions well after the festive period is over...

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