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DRINK DRIVING PROFESSIONAL CONSEQUENCES

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialist drink driving solicitors. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.

drink driving penalty 2017

Drink Driving Penalty

The motivation to instruct us to represent a client is often linked to preserving our client’s ability to drive but in the case of offences that are classed as criminal convictions, more pressing concerns often relate to the client’s ability to save their job. If you have concerns about the prosecution you face affecting your employment, we have addressed below some of the most common concerns for employees and drink driving professional consequences.

We have also outlined regulatory consequences for various professions as follows:

If you are regulated or you hold a specific licence that requires you to have a clean record, please note the specific consequences of a drink driving conviction as perceived by your regulators:

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General Employee Concerns

The police and the courts will not normally contact a defendant’s employer to advise them of a drink driving conviction. However, you could be in breach of your contract of employment if you fail to disclose the charge against you. Below we consider some of the most common questions and concerns clients have:

1. Do I need to inform a prospective employer of criminal convictions?

Prospective employees and the employer have certain rights and responsibilities when disclosing convictions.

Employees should be aware that:

  1. If an employer requests details of spent convictions, you need to consider whether or not the job you are applying for is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (see below);
  2. If an employer asks if you have a criminal record and your convictions are spent, and the job you are applying for is not excluded from the Act, you are legally entitled to say ‘no’.

This is a complex are of law and we recommend that if this is a concern for you, to seek advice, particularly if an employer claims a job is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 when in fact it is not. Advice can be sought from Citizens’ Advice Bureau or a careers adviser.

2. Relevant law for spent convictions

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c.53) allows some criminal convictions to be ignored after a rehabilitation period. This means that even if convicted of an offence, you will not have a lifelong “blot” on your record. The rehabilitation period is automatically determined by the sentence, and starts from the date of the conviction. After this period, if there have been no further convictions the conviction is “spent” and, with certain exceptions, need not be disclosed by the ex-offender in any context such as when applying for a job, obtaining insurance, or in civil proceedings.

3. When does a conviction become ‘spent?’

Certain criminal convictions are ‘spent’ (forgotten) after a rehabilitation period in accordance with Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This period varies according to the sentence imposed and the age of the offender. For people aged 18 or over when convicted, the following rehabilitation periods apply:

  • a fine or community order, conviction becomes spent after one year.
  • driving disqualifications, conviction becomes spent once the disqualification period comes to an end
  • driving endorsement, conviction becomes spent 5 years from the date of conviction
  • prison sentences up to six months become spent 2 years from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed.
  • prison sentences over 6 months and up to two and a half years become spent 4 years from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed
  • prison sentences over 2.5 years and up to 4 years are spent 7 years from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed

For people aged under 18 at the time of conviction, the following rehabilitation periods apply:

  • a fine or community order, conviction becomes spent 6 months from the date of the conviction.
  • driving disqualifications, conviction becomes spent once the disqualification period comes to an end
  • driving endorsement, conviction becomes spent  2 years 6 months from the date of conviction
  • prison sentences up to six months become spent 1 year 6 months from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed.
  • prison sentences over 6 months and up to two and a half years become spent 2 years from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed
  • prison sentences over 2.5 years and up to 4 years are spent 3 years 6 months from the date on which the sentence (including any licence period) is completed

4. Does an employee need to declare a spent conviction?

Prospective employees are not obliged to disclose spent convictions when applying for most jobs. Pursuant to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the grounds of a spent conviction. However, some types of jobs are exempt from this Act. This means that the prospective employee must disclose spent convictions in addition to unspent ones. These jobs include:

  • working with children and vulnerable adults, such as elderly and disabled people
  • senior roles in banking and the financial services industry
  • certain posts connected to law enforcement, including the judiciary and the police
  • work involving national security
  • certain posts in the prison service
  • certain professions in areas such as health, pharmacy and the law
  • private security work

5. Does an employee have to declare driving convictions?

Disqualifications From Driving

When a driver is disqualified from driving, the rehabilitation period Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 will be the same length as the period of disqualification. It is important to note, however, that if more than one penalty is imposed at once, the rehabilitation period takes the length of the longer sentencing.

For example, a motorist who is prohibited from driving for seven years and is also hit with a fine, which will take five years to become spent, the offender faces a rehabilitation period of seven years, as it is the longer rehabilitation period of the two.

Driving Endorsements (Penalty Points)

Because an endorsement does not fall under the relevant part of the Act, not being a ‘disability, prohibition or other penalty’, it does not have any effect on rehabilitation periods for road traffic convictions. If a driver were to be fined for an offence and also have their licence endorsed, the rehabilitation period would be defined by the rehabilitation period for a fine, and the endorsement would not factor in at all.

6. Can an employer request additional information about a prospective employee?

Depending on the job, employers can request that successful applicants supply different types of disclosure:

  • Basic Disclosure — an employer can request this for any job (even jobs not exempt pursuant to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act). This includes only details of unspent convictions.
  • Standard Disclosure is for jobs with regular contact with children or vulnerable adults and jobs exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. This includes all convictions, including spent ones.
  • Enhanced Disclosure is for jobs with greater (unsupervised) contact with children or vulnerable adults and for some judicial appointments and licensing purposes. This includes all convictions, including spent ones, plus possibly other information from local police records.

7. Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Outside UK

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not extend beyond Britain. Spent convictions may have greater significance in other countries so you should not rely on the protection of this Act if you are seeking guidance about how you may be affected in other countries. If you need assistance, you are advised to contact appropriate agencies in those countries.

8. Consequences of Failing to disclose convictions

If an applicant/employee fails to properly disclose criminal record, they are likely to be invited to a meeting to discuss why they failed to fully disclose their criminal record.

If a current employee has unspent convictions and they did not disclose them intentionally when asked to, they can be dismissed by their employer, and possibly prosecuted.

When you think that it is not just your driving licence at stake but there is also a real risk of your livelihood being lost, why would you make any decision about what to do next without seeking expert advice from the top motoring law firm in the UK. We offer initial telephone advice without charge and have a number of price options to suit most budgets.

OUR DRINK DRIVING TESTIMONIALS

From my initial conversation with Jeanette Miller back in July to our last call yesterday, dealing with Geoffrey Miller solicitors has been, dare I say, a pleasure. The last few months have been torture, but placing my future in the hands of GMS was the best decision I could have... Read More

From my initial conversation with Jeanette Miller back in July to our last call yesterday, dealing with Geoffrey Miller solicitors has been, dare I say, a pleasure. The last few months have been torture, but placing my future in the hands of GMS was the best decision I could have made. They are ultra professional, honest, diligent and give updates on a regular basis. They dive deeply into the case and highlight the shower that is the CPS. Ellie Taylor has been a shining light when there was not much but darkness. I simply cannot give too much praise. Thank you all at GMS, my appreciation cannot be expressed highly enough.

Alan
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Sunderland

Honestly – these guys are so worth it !! These guys are the very best. My very first call with Jeanette was so reassuring but still, like many, I feared the worse. However with the amazing prowess of the wonderful Defence Barrister they appointed, the trial today actually resulted in... Read More

Honestly – these guys are so worth it !!

These guys are the very best.
My very first call with Jeanette was so reassuring but still, like many, I feared the worse.

However with the amazing prowess of the wonderful Defence Barrister they appointed, the trial today actually resulted in the case being dismissed and all charges dropped !!

It was Marc’s rigorous chasing of the CPS which highlighted their many failures, and my Barristers absolutely epic performance in the court that got me the result I first could only dream of.

Don’t have a doubt, use Geoffrey Miller Solicitors

A J M
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Cambridgeshire

I had already been sentenced and appealed my case and lost the appeal being represented by a different much cheaper law firm so I thought all was lost, I was banned from driving for 29 months, received 150 hours of unpaid work and a hefty fine. I called Geoffrey Millers... Read More

I had already been sentenced and appealed my case and lost the appeal being represented by a different much cheaper law firm so I thought all was lost, I was banned from driving for 29 months, received 150 hours of unpaid work and a hefty fine. I called Geoffrey Millers after my appeal had been lost and spoke to Jeanette and asked if there was anything that could be done. I was advised going to crown court to appeal was an option but would mean a whole new case. It was very daunting and stressful but the staff reassured me at every stage and were very supportive. They got my ban suspended pending trial so I was able to drive again in the months up to the case going to Crown. The investigation and work put into my case was second to none and I never felt that all my questions and stressed out calls to them were too much bother. I attended crown court and was hoping for a reduced ban but the outcome was amazing, I won my special reasons appeal meaning I could keep my licence and the community order was scrapped. I cannot thank them enough for taking on my case even after I had previously lost an appeal and had used a different solicitors, my only regret was that I did not go to them first. Worth every penny and more. Thank you so much to Jeanette, Diana and all the team.

Anonymous 55
Drink Driving
Ban appealed due to special reasons and was won
Manchester

This was an alleged second Drink Driving conviction within 10 years. I was going through a divorce and my world was completely upside down. I had no car, no home and limited access to my family. It was the worst time of my life. Ellie looked after me the whole... Read More

This was an alleged second Drink Driving conviction within 10 years. I was going through a divorce and my world was completely upside down. I had no car, no home and limited access to my family. It was the worst time of my life. Ellie looked after me the whole time and really was a human towards me and gave me the confidence to keep going leading me to plead Not Guilty. The result was exactly as Ellie anticipated which was great news! My life is now back on track after a gruelling 10 months, I cannot thank Ellie, the team at GMS and my Barrister who was just on another level!

Please call GMS because they are fantastic!

Anonymous 54
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Hertfordshire

My feedback cannot express how gratifying I am with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors as regards the handling of my drink driving case from start to finish. I have always held some level of reservation about legal advise particularly with road traffic cases, however GM solicitors have evidently change my skepticism. The... Read More

My feedback cannot express how gratifying I am with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors as regards the handling of my drink driving case from start to finish.

I have always held some level of reservation about legal advise particularly with road traffic cases, however GM solicitors have evidently change my skepticism.

The level of professionalism, optimism, efficiency and value for money from the moment I presented my case to Jeanette S. Miller up to the point John Ruane called to inform my case have been discontinued by the CPS was (5 star) excellent.

Jeanette kept reassuring me there was a strong possibility of success even when I felt all hopes were lost. My biggest thank you goes out to John for the high level of transparency and real-time progress update on my case.

Your firm is top notch and I will always relish the good result delivered for the rest of my life. Yes people might say it is an expensive service, however it was worth the result at the end plus the level of payment flexibility makes it affordable for all.

Please keep up the good work and maintain the level of excellent.

Mr Philip O
Drink Driving
Discontinued Before Trial
London

Unbelievable!!! I have to confess that I was extremely sceptical about achieving a successful outcome, but was reassured all through the process by some excellent staff at Geoffrey Miller that there was hope where I could see none. Today all charges were dropped by the CPS and I can’t thank... Read More

Unbelievable!!! I have to confess that I was extremely sceptical about achieving a successful outcome, but was reassured all through the process by some excellent staff at Geoffrey Miller that there was hope where I could see none. Today all charges were dropped by the CPS and I can’t thank John Ruane and my Barrister enough for their outstanding efforts, life can finally get back to some normality after months of stress and I only have Geoffrey Miller to thank for this.

MW
Drink Driving
CPS offered no evidence
Northamptonshire

Oh my god Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are amazing totally professional reassuring and confident from the very start of proceedings thank you so much regards J CARRARA

Justin Carrara
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Norfolk

You are probably reading this because you are terrified, but you have come to the right place… When I was arrested almost 10 months ago my world fell apart, I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t sleep and I was in panic mode. I called a friend at work... Read More

You are probably reading this because you are terrified, but you have come to the right place… When I was arrested almost 10 months ago my world fell apart, I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t sleep and I was in panic mode. I called a friend at work who recommended Geoffrey Miller. After a lot of research and reading all the testimonials (twice) I finally plucked up courage and made the call. Jeannette Miller was the first person I spoke to, her warm and understanding nature without any judgement was something I was not expecting and immediately knew I made the right decision. Ellie Taylor (who is just amazing!!) was assigned my case worker, the expense needed for fees were a worry but the team worked with me throughout so I was never overwhelmed by costs (it is worth it believe me). After months of back and forth and trial dates being moved or adjourned, the CPS doing their best to derail everything, we finally went to trial. My barrister is someone I will never forget, he was just incredible and knew exactly what his plan was, I was so scared of losing my license as it would ruin my job, house and future work prospects… I shouldn’t have worried all those months, I was acquitted. I am truly grateful for the incredible work this team does. Please give them a call as soon as you can, that call could very well change your life.

Stuart M
Drink Driving
Acquitted
London

I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the help Geoffrey Miller have given me. I got caught 7 years ago and then caught again 7 years later, which could have resulted in a 3 year ban (possibly more) and a fine and possibly community service. I run... Read More

I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the help Geoffrey Miller have given me. I got caught 7 years ago and then caught again 7 years later, which could have resulted in a 3 year ban (possibly more) and a fine and possibly community service. I run my own business and this had the potential to ruin my business and everything I have. I did a search for specialist solicitors and Geoffrey Millar came up first. I was obvs in a state of distress, but I spoke to Jeanette and she instantly put me at ease by talking through the event of arrest and assuring me that they had confidence to help. Naturally you feel sceptical I think that’s natural, however after the first call they kept in contact and it helped in making the decision to use Geoffrey Miller. I’ll be honest the fees can make you feel its a big risk, but then the success rate is high, so I took the plunge. John Ruane was my case manager and he always kept me informed and told me not to worry. It did take nearly a year to get to a decision (no fault of Geoffrey Miller, that’s just how it worked out) but I kept my licence during this time, which meant I could continue with my life, and I was looked after by some great people on preliminary court hearings and they too, were great! Today I have just been acquitted and case dismissed. Worth every penny, and now they are helping to get some court fees back, which is great! If you Need help, and you feel lost/stressed give these guys a call! and check out the success rate, it worked for me.

Consider what it means to keep a licence and not pay high premiums on insurance after your ban is over, and you will see its worth the cash!

Thank you John, and All the team.

Jim
Drink Driving
Acquitted
West Sussex

The best team in the UK. Saskia saved me from losing everything. I can’t thank Geoffrey Miller more!

Manveer S Virk
Drink Driving
Case Dropped
Uxbridge
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VIEW ALL OUR DRINK DRIVING TESTIMONIALS

†Figures include successful appeals and exclude cases lost that are the subject of appeal as at 20th December 2018.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Drink Driving Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving offence charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange installment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving ban calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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