Application form has arrived - DVLA Medical will be on the way - abstinence period?

white43

Well-known member
#1
Hi All.

I've been reading this forum for some time. I'm due my license back in 3 months after an 18 month ban. The Alcohol Awareness Course I went on didn't seem to know about the CDT Marker as the new sole test performed by DVLA!

I'm after advice really. I realise that some of my statements will not be favourable, but as you've all been here gaining the experience and seeing the results, it would be very helpful and I appreciate the answers I get.

So, my few questions are thus:

I'm a fairly heavy drinker. But as I hadn't been driving, I was putting it aside as something to do. I'd say I'd drink 6 days a week and often at around 22 units a day. That was until this Friday gone 19th Feb. I have now stopped because....

I have now received my application form, which reminded me, it's time to stop.

So I'm reading and unfortunately thought that I'd need 2-4 weeks abstinence, but now reading further, it looks like I could need up to 12 weeks abstinence.

Given timescales and time needed for abstinence - what do you think I should do?

I see DVLA could take 4-6 weeks to write back to me with a GP for the CDT test and then it could take a further 4-6 weeks to get the test. So should I crack on and apply or wait a week and then apply with a cheque?

Any advice is much appreciated.
 
#2
Hi. Dvla only take about one/two weeks to reply and you have a 6 week window from the DATE of their letter to you requesting a medical. I didn't know this myself until I went through the process two months ago.
My advice would be to continue to abstain for at least another 4 weeks and then send in your application. Bear in mind that the franchise doctor may not have an appointment available exactly when you want it, so if they say that the only appointment is two or three weeks after you call them, you'll have to take it. So the more time you give yourself off the drink BEFORE you apply, the better. I passed the medical with a CDT reading of 1.0 with 23 days of abstention but my daily intake was half of yours. I would advise nearer the 12 weeks for you to be safe.
I'm not an expert but I have done a huge amount of research both here and via medical journals. More learned posters (all due respect) here say that moderate drinking is acceptable but I reckon if you're serious about getting your license back you may as well give it your best shot and stop completely. I have posted on previous threads about exactly what I did during my abstinence period in the hope of aiding the reduction of my CDT but it's not scientifically proven as to whether any of those methods help. The best way to be sure is abstinence over a prolonged amount of time. It would certainly be less stressful than cutting it fine and hoping that milk thistle et al. will help.
Hope this helps and I'm happy to answer any questions if I can.
Good luck.
 
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white43

Well-known member
#3
That's great advice @shouldaknownbetter - I was under the impression it took DVLA 4-6 weeks to offer you a GP list for the blood test!!!

I will hold off a month and put the application in. Then when they write back, I should be six weeks into abstinence. I'll make a call when to have the test based on....

...Getting a private blood test for CDT now. So I can have a baseline and now where I stand. I will also get a reading in a months time - (yes, it's £75 a pop, but I figure this is worth it!) I can then see what change a months abstinence has caused. After reading the half life is about 14-17 days, I'd be interested to see what the reading is. After my second reading, I think I'll be in a better position to decide when to have the CDT test - further into the six weeks or if the reading is satisfactory, sooner rather than later

Following on from another post, certainly one to do with Iron, I note that it's important you have the correct amount of iron in your diet(in order to not get a higher elevation of CDT found in anaemics) and I note my Multivitamins, which are super charged for the vitamins, have a paltry 14% RDA of Iron. My diet isn't great, so I may look to get an iron supplement which gets me 100% RDA (but certainly not overload to skew the result). I also take zinc, magnesium, taurine, omega 3's for all sorts of health reasons -but I do take milk thistle, not that I'm expecting that to improve my CDT. Time does.

Thanks for your help. I will update this thread with more info as I go along.
 
#4
Good advice from shouldaknown better.
you say that you are only getting 14% of your rda of iron from your multivitamins..... don't forget that you may well be getting 100% of your rda from a normal diet!
 

white43

Well-known member
#5
That's very true Price! I've been looking at the foods higher in Iron, but I'm not eating a lot of liver and stuff! Red meat maybe though!

Do you think what I'm attempting to do is sensible?? I've a lot of respect of your opinion. Your posts have been very helpful. :D
 
#6
Thank you for your nice comments.
i like your idea of doing 2 CDT tests, especially if you share the results on here as real ones rather than the theory that we discuss. Of course it can vary from person to person, and will also depend on the level of drinking at the start.
i am not a big believer in results from milk thistle, especially if people want quick results from short abstenance. (Prayer may well be better than that!) but it will do no harm and will probably benefit your liver in general, it is just if it benefits specifically CDT levels.
 
#7
Totally agree with you white43, I have found price's advice and information to be the most reliable, certainly the most balanced, on here!!

I would be very interested to hear the results of your 2 week interval blood tests. Whilst you're getting the first one done why not get a red blood cell count as well? That'll answer your worry about being anaemic but I suspect that you'll find that you are getting the iron you need from your diet, unless you are experiencing symptoms of anaemia?
How about, and I don't want to sound preachy, eating a healthier diet? Whilst you're not drinking, use it as the impetus to go on a health kick? It really is easier to eat a balanced diet of lots of fresh fruit and veg, lean meats, oily fish and drink plenty of water than worry about whether your vitamins are supercharged or only providing 14% of your RDA of a particular nutrient.. I realise that that sentence doesn't really sell the healthy eating regime!!

I don't know if the milk thistle and all the other things that I took make any difference. For each article you read in support, you can read another with the opposite view and suspect price maybe onto something with the "power of prayer"!! I basically ate any food that had been seen to have liver supporting properties and made sure that I drank plenty of water. I upped my intake of 3 pints to about 6/7 pints daily. If you're interested you can check my post on the thread titled "CDT returns to normal after 2-4 wks".

Be aware that dvla don't send a list of GPs. They choose which Dr. you see and you pretty much have to go with their availability, so it's not a given that you can make your appointment right at the end of your six week time frame.
 

white43

Well-known member
#8
No problem, I intend to post dates and results as I get them here.

Is applying in a months time a more sensible thing to do?? I think yes - a) I'll have a base reading and a month later reading b) More time for cdt to return to normal. Feel much more positive about it now.
 
#9
I think a month would be good. Then a week to cash your cheque, I mean process your application and print off your letter, bringing you up to five weeks and then say five weeks until your medical. 10 weeks in total. Very wise to wait until you've ordered your own CDT tests before applying, you can make an informed decision then. Much more sensible than the route I took. Keep us posted!
 

white43

Well-known member
#10
Well this has blurred the water somewhat.

I had a CDT result back today. This came from Medichecks. I had a 0.9% result.

Now that's very odd. It's either the test result is wrong or something is seriously throwing that result out.

I will start a new thread and discussion on this.
 

Mclanelli

Well-known member
#11
Hi All.

I've been reading this forum for some time. I'm due my license back in 3 months after an 18 month ban. The Alcohol Awareness Course I went on didn't seem to know about the CDT Marker as the new sole test performed by DVLA!

I'm after advice really. I realise that some of my statements will not be favourable, but as you've all been here gaining the experience and seeing the results, it would be very helpful and I appreciate the answers I get.

So, my few questions are thus:

I'm a fairly heavy drinker. But as I hadn't been driving, I was putting it aside as something to do. I'd say I'd drink 6 days a week and often at around 22 units a day. That was until this Friday gone 19th Feb. I have now stopped because....

I have now received my application form, which reminded me, it's time to stop.

So I'm reading and unfortunately thought that I'd need 2-4 weeks abstinence, but now reading further, it looks like I could need up to 12 weeks abstinence.

Given timescales and time needed for abstinence - what do you think I should do?

I see DVLA could take 4-6 weeks to write back to me with a GP for the CDT test and then it could take a further 4-6 weeks to get the test. So should I crack on and apply or wait a week and then apply with a cheque?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Yeah, your man Shouldaknowbetter is right.

The DVLA are quick to give you your six week deadline. It is usually 1/2 weeks these days.

You then lose a week or two because they don't allow for delivery of service (postal time) If the DVLA date and post on say the 1st, you will get the letter around the 6 or 7th for example. The six weeks will start from the date marked on the letter.

From this point it can be fun and games with regards to arranging the medical with the DVLA appointed doctor. Some will give you multiple date options within your timescale, some will give you only one. If the date or dates are earlier within the six week period then you are losing that time for your CDT to clear.

So as per advice already given; you need to wait and leave enough time. Point to note; when you do arrange your medical with the doctor; if they do give you limited dates or they are not getting back to you, then you can contact the DVLA and request a different doctor. The DVLA picks the nearest doctor based on your postcode location; but sometimes you can get one in the next town, who might have more suitable dates available.

Just something to consider nearer the time. When the DVLA and NHS collide you often get problems. So don't be pushed into an early appointment.

Good luck.

M
 

white43

Well-known member
#12
Yeah, your man Shouldaknowbetter is right.

The DVLA are quick to give you your six week deadline. It is usually 1/2 weeks these days.

You then lose a week or two because they don't allow for delivery of service (postal time) If the DVLA date and post on say the 1st, you will get the letter around the 6 or 7th for example. The six weeks will start from the date marked on the letter.

From this point it can be fun and games with regards to arranging the medical with the DVLA appointed doctor. Some will give you multiple date options within your timescale, some will give you only one. If the date or dates are earlier within the six week period then you are losing that time for your CDT to clear.

So as per advice already given; you need to wait and leave enough time. Point to note; when you do arrange your medical with the doctor; if they do give you limited dates or they are not getting back to you, then you can contact the DVLA and request a different doctor. The DVLA picks the nearest doctor based on your postcode location; but sometimes you can get one in the next town, who might have more suitable dates available.

Just something to consider nearer the time. When the DVLA and NHS collide you often get problems. So don't be pushed into an early appointment.

Good luck.

M
Very good advice. Didn't know any of that. Thanks Mclanelli! I aim to try and get at least 2 months abstinence under the belt before the medical and hopefully, the private CDT test I had of 0.9%(!) might be accurate, will find out in three weeks odd!
 
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