How Long Will I Lose My Licence for Drink Driving? 

Marcus Min

How Long Will I Lose My Licence for Drink Driving? 

You may be wondering what happens next after you have been convicted of drink driving. We can answer any important questions you need to ask before going into court, or after the fact. M.A.J Law is a family-run motoring defence practice. To discuss your case in confidence, call our team on 01514228020.  

If you have been convicted of a drink driving offence, you will be subject to a driving ban. But how long could it be until your license is reinstated? The answer to this question will vary depending on your individual case and circumstances, as the courts ultimately decide this on a case by case basis – but here is some general information on what you can likely expect the outcome to be.
As already mentioned, you can receive a driving disqualification if you are convicted of a drink driving offence, or if you build up 12 or more penalty points (also known as endorsements) on your driving licence within three years.
The Government website explains that the court dealing with your case will decide on how long your ban will last, depending on how serious they think your offence is. Your ban may last up to:
  • Six months if you have built up 12 or more points over three years on your record
  • 12 months if you receive a second disqualification within three years of your last offence
  • Two years if you receive a third disqualification within three years of your last offence
If you receive a ban that lasts for more than 56 days, then you’ll need to re-apply for a new licence, which we’ll go into more detail on below. The court will inform you if you need to retake your driving test, or complete an extended test, before your licence can be fully restored.
For any disqualification lasting less than 56 days, you can check your ban by viewing your driving licence online. This means you won’t need to apply for a new licence before you’re allowed back on the road.

Can I Reduce My Disqualification Period? 

It is sometimes possible to ask the court to shorten the length of your driving ban after you’ve been disqualified. This is only possible where;
  • You were disqualified for 3 years and have served at least 2 years 
  • You were disqualified for between 4 - 10 years and have served at least half 
  • You were disqualified for 10 or more years and have served at least 5
To do this you will have to present a valid reason for your ban to be reduced. For example, a change in your family circumstances. You may also be able to reduce the length of the driving ban if you believe the court made a legal error or failed to take into account some key factors as to why you were committing the offence. In some cases, you may be able to reduce your ban by taking a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course if you’re banned from driving for 12 months or more. However, once again, it is ultimately up to the court to offer this.
Your application for a shorter driving ban should be made to the court who convicted you. You should take all relevant supporting information to the court, as well as any character references. The court will then make a decision and the DVLA will be informed if your ban is to be reduced. If a reduction is granted, you’ll still be required to apply for a new licence. If your request is denied, you’ll have to wait at least three months before you resubmit a new request for a reduction. 

How Do I Re-apply For A Drivers Licence? 

If you’ve been banned from driving due to a drink or drug driving offence, the DVLA will send you a renewal form (D27) either 56 days before your ban ends, or 90 days if you’re classed as a high-risk offender. You are entitled to re-apply for your driving licence before your disqualification period ends.
You will be required to complete the form and return it to the DVLA, with payment of the fee. The form will instruct you on whether or not a new passport photo is required. As well as obtaining this form from the DVLA, it’s also possible to request one from your local Post Office, or you can order one of the application forms online. You should also remember that  if your name/title or address has changed since your driving ban, you’ll need to update these details when you apply for your new licence.
If you have had your licence revoked within two years of passing your test then you must apply for a new provisional licence and retake both parts of the test. This also applies if your provisional licence is cancelled after you pass your test, but you haven’t yet sent off for a full driver’s licence.
If you need legal advice from a professional with regards to a drink driving charge that you’re facing, contact M.A.J Law today to discuss your circumstances and options. Our team of friendly and non judgmental experts will be on hand to respond to you as soon as possible and help to navigate you through the entire process. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.