How To Reduce Your Period Of Ban
Always ask a lawyer if you are unsure about any of the advice and information provided here.
You can reduce the period of ban imposed by a court but your solicitor will require to ask the court at time of sentence to consider making a drink drive rehabilitation reduction. Many Sheriffs do not accede to this request without a full and detailed explanation as to why. Some think that it should only be allowed where the drink drive limit has only just been exceeded others consider that it is only appropriate where there is a drink problem. Each Sheriff has to be approached with the benefit of experience and understanding when making a suggestion that you should be placed on the scheme. You can reduce your driving disqualification period by 25% but the Sheriff can exercise his discretion and allow a shorter period of reduction. Again a situation where an experienced road traffic lawyer can make a big difference to the outcome.
A Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme course normally costs £150 (£95 if on benefits). Upon conviction your solicitor must intimate to the court that you agree to attend a Drink Drive Rehabilitation course and the court will consider a reduction of your period of disqualification. The solicitor has to know when it is appropriate to recommend such a reduction.
The Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme has been thoroughly tested and is regarded by many Sheriffs and Magistrates throughout Scotland as a proven method to reduce the re-offend rate. It is an ideal disposal for the offence of Drink Driving, to be used in conjunction with a disqualification period, plus a fine, community service, probation order or custodial sentence, as the severity of the offence dictates.
Once the verdict and penalty have been announced, the Court must decide whether the offender is suitable for the Scheme. Most Courts, conscious of current ‘Human Rights’ legislation, refer all drink drive offenders for training.
Making a Referral Order involves the following:
- assessing suitability
- offering the course to the offender
- the offender accepts or declines
- the Hearing ends
- if the offender accepts, the completed Referral Order is forwarded to the training provider
The guidelines to the Scheme list several factors which affect suitability:
- a place is available on an approved course.
- We can recommend VMCL (VMCL are approved training providers and guarantee to train all offenders referred to them under the Scheme, making it unnecessary for the Court to check availability)
- the offender is at least 17 years old
- the offer has been explained to the offender in ordinary language
Once an offer has been made to the offender, the Court should state:
- the amount of reduction in the disqualification period the offender will receive for completing the course
- the date on which the reduced ban ends
- the date by which the course must be completed
The offender must agree to the offer of attending the course before an Order is made. Inclusion in the Scheme is voluntary; there is no penalty for choosing not to be included.
After the Hearing, the Court’s administration section creates the Referral Order. The Order is signed by an Officer of the Court and a copy forwarded to the training provider.
You attend as required and upon successful completion of the course you will be entitled to a reduction in your period of disqualification.
For More Information on How the scheme works and where the courses are held, checkout the Vernon Mansfield website.