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DVLA Medical - alcohol misuse

zebadee

Active member
#1
Hi,

I went through a really rough period from Oct-Feb last year (2016-17) which included hospitalisation in a psychiatric unit. I was drinking very heavily up until my hospitalisation from the end of Dec-beginning of Feb. I had stopped drinking for the 5 weeks I was in hospital, but began drinking again after getting out and my alcohol use has fluctuated between fairly high levels (up to a litre of vodka a day) to now where I am drinking maybe 1-2 times a week (last time I drank I had 6 units).

I had my license suspended for 6 months in March after sending in a medical form to the DVLA on the advice of the home based treatment team (biggest mistake of my life :p) and reapplied for my license around 7 weeks ago. My GP, alcohol worker, and consultant all sent positive references to the DVLA, confirming they had no worries about my fitness to drive.

Today I received a letter from the DVLA asking me to make an appointment for a full medical examination with one of their doctors. They are paying for the medical expenses (woo).

I'm really nervous about this examination, mainly because I have no idea what to expect?! I have read that they test certain levels in your blood for markers of consistent alcohol misuse. I had bloods done fairly recently (for unrelated reasons) where some of the markers for inflammation were elevated, requiring a retest. I haven't heard anything back about the retest results. I have read that it's advisable to ask my GP for a blood test to check my liver function before I go for the DVLA medical?

Sorry, this has all got a bit jumbled! I think my main questions are:

Approximately how long does it take to get an appointment for a DVLA medical?
What does the medical consist of?
What can cause you to fail?
Are my current drinking habits likely to be problematic? Should I go completely tee-total from now until the medical?
Is there a difference between the acceptable blood test results for someone who has been convicted of drink-driving and someone who hasn't? (I self-reported alcohol misuse, never drink-drove).

I'm just really anxious to get my license back, as I'm now working full-time and it's been almost a year since I last drove. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

zebadee

Active member
#2
Oh, I would also like to say that I have already filled out a questionnaire about my drinking and sent it to the DVLA, that was something they asked me to do when I sent off my DR1. Will they want me to fill out another one at this medical?! Really confused as to what is concerning them about my ability to drive :confused: Medical is booked for the 29th.
 
#3
Oh, I would also like to say that I have already filled out a questionnaire about my drinking and sent it to the DVLA, that was something they asked me to do when I sent off my DR1. Will they want me to fill out another one at this medical?! Really confused as to what is concerning them about my ability to drive :confused: Medical is booked for the 29th.
Hi zebedee if it's the same medical as they do for the high risk offenders (that'll be me) then the test looks for cdt levels in blood, this can show whether alcohol has been misused recently. There's debate as to how long "recently"
May be, but from these forums and looking over medical.journals its anything between a week and 12 weeks. I've booked in for a private test through medichecks and when I have this done I'll have been abstaining for one week, my recent intake has been on the high side (for me) if around 4 bottles of medium strength wine per week. You will achieve an abnormal reading if you have been drinking over 60g of alcohol every day for a period of time 8g = 1 unit, 1 bottle of 12% wine = 70/80g there a loads of info in other threads on here. But the best advice is abstain for as long as possible, eat well, take supplements and hydrate.

Best of luck
 

zebadee

Active member
#4
Hi zebedee if it's the same medical as they do for the high risk offenders (that'll be me) then the test looks for cdt levels in blood, this can show whether alcohol has been misused recently. There's debate as to how long "recently"
May be, but from these forums and looking over medical.journals its anything between a week and 12 weeks. I've booked in for a private test through medichecks and when I have this done I'll have been abstaining for one week, my recent intake has been on the high side (for me) if around 4 bottles of medium strength wine per week. You will achieve an abnormal reading if you have been drinking over 60g of alcohol every day for a period of time 8g = 1 unit, 1 bottle of 12% wine = 70/80g there a loads of info in other threads on here. But the best advice is abstain for as long as possible, eat well, take supplements and hydrate.

Best of luck
Hi, thanks for your reply :) I haven't drank since the 19th, and since about the 5th I haven't been having more than the recommended 14 units a week. I'm really hoping that will be enough for me to pass the test. Problem is I drink vodka when I do drink, and I don't know whether the percentage level matters... or is it all in the units? Mystery to me haha but only 3 more days til my medical and then I can at least have a drink to calm my nerves whilst awaiting the result! :D
 

zebadee

Active member
#6
It can go either way on how they see your drinking, with you still drinking that may not help and I guess they will want you to do the cdt test which shouldn't be a problem with your drinking now. However they may require you to be abstinent for 6 months due to "misuse" and your mental health problems. good luck

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drug-or-alcohol-misuse-or-dependence-assessing-fitness-to-drive
Thanks Splodger! I was told I needed to have my drinking 'controlled', which tbh I think it definitely is. I really hope they don't change their minds and decide they want me to be abstinent for a further 6 months :( Anyway, I have the medical tomorrow morning and then I think I'll phone up next Monday/Tuesday to see where things are up to. Haven't drank at all for 10 days and prior to that haven't been drinking more than 14 units a week so fingers crossed.

Anyone know roughly how long it takes for them to receive your blood results etc?
 

zebadee

Active member
#7
Well, I had my medical this morning. Dr was really miserable but did say at the end "you should receive your license in the post in 3 weeks" so I'm guessing she didn't think there were any problems?! Going to be obsessively checking my driving entitlement online from Monday onwards :p
 

zebadee

Active member
#8
Phoned DVLA this morning (5/12/17), person on the phone said they have all my info and are just waiting on a decision from the medical team, but she couldn't tell me how long that would take. Going to be beyond upset if I don't get my license back after all this!
 

zebadee

Active member
#9
Just for anyone who may be anxiously reading through threads - I had my license issued on the 15/12/17! It's a 1 year license so I will have to go through this all over again next year, no doubt, but I'm just happy to be able to drive to work :D

29/11/17 - Medical
7/12/17 - All info scanned onto DVLA's system
15/12/17 - License issued!
 
#10
Just for anyone who may be anxiously reading through threads - I had my license issued on the 15/12/17! It's a 1 year license so I will have to go through this all over again next year, no doubt, but I'm just happy to be able to drive to work :D

29/11/17 - Medical
7/12/17 - All info scanned onto DVLA's system
15/12/17 - License issued!
Great news zebedee!
 
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