DVLA Medical High Risk Offender Licence Application Timescale

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R25644

Well-known member
I've just seen what you mean now, on my birthday it's was two bottles of wine, but that was stretched over 6 or 7 hour's, but of course still as one sitting.
Exceeding weekly amounts in one sitting could be seen as dependency. And certainly misuse. If driving is important to you I would consider stopping drinking until that license is back in your hand.
 

KelvinB

Member

Alcohol misuse​

Guide to definition of misuse​

There is no singular definition to embrace all the variables within alcohol misuse – but DVLA offers the following:

A state that causes, because of consumption of alcohol, disturbance of behaviour, related disease or other consequences likely to cause the patient, their family or society present or future harm and that may or may not be associated with dependence.

Definition of controlled drinking​

Drinking within government recommended health guidelines (currently 14 units per week).

Alcohol dependence​

Guide to definition of dependence​

There is no singular definition to embrace all the variables within alcohol dependence – but DVLA offers the following:

“A cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated alcohol use, including:

  • a strong desire to take alcohol
  • difficulties in controlling its use
  • persistent use in spite of harmful consequences
  • and with evidence of increased tolerance and sometimes a physical withdrawal state”
Indicators may include any history of withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, detoxification or alcohol-related seizures.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
Exceeding weekly amounts in one sitting could be seen as dependency. And certainly misuse. If driving is important to you I would consider stopping drinking until that license is back in your hand.
I'm happy to stop drinking, since my birthday in June I've had two pints and that's it so it's not a major part of my life that I have to give up. It's just the ball ache of all of this when I've been classed as dependent when I'm not, nor have been.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member

Alcohol misuse​

Guide to definition of misuse​

There is no singular definition to embrace all the variables within alcohol misuse – but DVLA offers the following:



Definition of controlled drinking​

Drinking within government recommended health guidelines (currently 14 units per week).

Alcohol dependence​

Guide to definition of dependence​

There is no singular definition to embrace all the variables within alcohol dependence – but DVLA offers the following:

“A cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated alcohol use, including:

  • a strong desire to take alcohol
  • difficulties in controlling its use
  • persistent use in spite of harmful consequences
  • and with evidence of increased tolerance and sometimes a physical withdrawal state”
Indicators may include any history of withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, detoxification or alcohol-related seizures.
I don't see where any of the evidence points to the dependence Guide...
 

R25644

Well-known member
I'm happy to stop drinking, since my birthday in June I've had two pints and that's it so it's not a major part of my life that I have to give up. It's just the ball ache of all of this when I've been classed as dependent when I'm not,
The whole process is a ball ache. Like BigTom suggested, start getting LFT’s done and remain abstinent for the next 12 months and they should reinstate you with another 12month license.
Hopefully the DVLA change it to misuse.
 

R25644

Well-known member
I don't see where any of the evidence points to the dependence Guide...
‘Definition of controlled drinking. 14 units’
The GP has said you drank 20 units in one sitting. That shows evidence of difficulties controlling use. You could argue that there is harmful consequences of not controlling your drinking considering you need your license back for work.
Im not trying to be a douche, just saying the DVLA could see that as problematic and class it as dependency.
personally think it’s nuts as most the world would be dependent under those rules.
 

KelvinB

Member
I don't see where any of the evidence points to the dependence Guide...
"A cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated alcohol use"

Drinking 2 bottles of wine in a day is not seen as 'normal', especially for somebody who has previously lost their licence due to alcohol.

I'm just trying to point out that there is no clear cut definition to either misuse or dependence. 2 professional people could view the same evidence differently. As pointed out earlier, somebody with alcohol dependence isn't necessarily sitting on park bench drinking cider all day. Many alcohol dependent people function quite normally to outsider eyes, but that one glass of wine may lead to finishing the bottle and then having another one...

The DVLA have an obligation to ensure safety, and this may mean they make decisions on people that are not necessarily justified. They do err on the side of caution, and your letter from the GP seems to back up the view that there is some kind of alcohol issue, whether it be misuse or dependence.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
"A cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated alcohol use"

Drinking 2 bottles of wine in a day is not seen as 'normal', especially for somebody who has previously lost their licence due to alcohol.

I'm just trying to point out that there is no clear cut definition to either misuse or dependence. 2 professional people could view the same evidence differently. As pointed out earlier, somebody with alcohol dependence isn't necessarily sitting on park bench drinking cider all day. Many alcohol dependent people function quite normally to outsider eyes, but that one glass of wine may lead to finishing the bottle and then having another one...

The DVLA have an obligation to ensure safety, and this may mean they make decisions on people that are not necessarily justified. They do err on the side of caution, and your letter from the GP seems to back up the view that there is some kind of alcohol issue, whether it be misuse or dependence.
So I should of kept my mouth shut about having a drink on my birthday.
I know about functional alcoholics, my exe was one, which is probably where my comparison of myself is coming from when the word dependance is used.
 

price1367

TTC Group
I agree with KelvinB
There is also this, in the WHO definition of dependence, which is what DVLA say they look at:

“Continuation of drinking despite negative and/or harmful consequences. This may include loss of a relationship, a job, a DUI, depressive moods and anxiety, harm to health, inability to function normally due to intoxication etc.”

which is why they look for abstinence.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
I agree with KelvinB
There is also this, in the WHO definition of dependence, which is what DVLA say they look at:

“Continuation of drinking despite negative and/or harmful consequences. This may include loss of a relationship, a job, a DUI, depressive moods and anxiety, harm to health, inability to function normally due to intoxication etc.”

which is why they look for abstinence.
I've lost my job over this and haven't hit the bottle
I agree with KelvinB
There is also this, in the WHO definition of dependence, which is what DVLA say they look at:

“Continuation of drinking despite negative and/or harmful consequences. This may include loss of a relationship, a job, a DUI, depressive moods and anxiety, harm to health, inability to function normally due to intoxication etc.”

which is why they look for abstinence.
I've lost my job after two months because of this, leaving me with zero money for my kid's birthdays and Christmas, but haven't hit the bottle. I've gone abstinence for three month's and more between having drinks, and even with all this being depressing, I'm not drinking, other than tea, coffee and crappy coke zero. But it looks like I'm fighting a loosing battle so may as well just give up
 

Polly3

Well-known member
I've lost my job over this and haven't hit the bottle

I've lost my job after two months because of this, leaving me with zero money for my kid's birthdays and Christmas, but haven't hit the bottle. I've gone abstinence for three month's and more between having drinks, and even with all this being depressing, I'm not drinking, other than tea, coffee and crappy coke zero. But it looks like I'm fighting a loosing battle so may as well just give up
You have done really well coping with this . The fact that you’ve not resorted to drinking , when many would ( unsurprisingly) is a credit to you and also your sober state is helping you deal with this dreadful situation. OK : you are responsible for your arrest , as was I, but the issue and subsequent withdrawal of your licence, with all the aggravation that entails , is unacceptable.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
You have done really well coping with this . The fact that you’ve not resorted to drinking , when many would ( unsurprisingly) is a credit to you and also your sober state is helping you deal with this dreadful situation. OK : you are responsible for your arrest , as was I, but the issue and subsequent withdrawal of your licence, with all the aggravation that entails , is unacceptable.
With a 4 and 2 year old helping in drive me round the bend (pun intended) I'm surprised I haven't caved myself! Just as we were able to start getting out and about again. Luckily I have family, so I know they won't go without on their birthdays (November and December) but it still hurts that I can't be the one to treat them. Hopefully another job comes up soon, but there's not many opportunities for single parents who need school and preschool hour's. I'll give the doctors one more go, in the hope that rewording possibly helps, but after that, who knows.
 

BigTom

Well-known member
With a 4 and 2 year old helping in drive me round the bend (pun intended) I'm surprised I haven't caved myself! Just as we were able to start getting out and about again. Luckily I have family, so I know they won't go without on their birthdays (November and December) but it still hurts that I can't be the one to treat them. Hopefully another job comes up soon, but there's not many opportunities for single parents who need school and preschool hour's. I'll give the doctors one more go, in the hope that rewording possibly helps, but after that, who knows.
Keep on it, don't give in - just be mindful that it might not go the way you want. Ask for a face to face with the GP, explain that you were tearful on the phone through frustration, not through self-pity at your situation.

Try to explain to her why you have previously binged, in my situation it was through emotions. Good and bad emotion would trigger me to go on a bender - then I'd feel shame and remorse, get over it and that would be that for months (until the next emotional trigger). I then did some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which was talking through my feelings and thoughts. It cost me about £600 but helped me think differently. I also went to AA, I'm not sure if I would ever be the kind of person to go through the 12 steps, but listening to others stories really helped my well being as I could see I wasn't alone, probably not a typical alcoholic in the general sense of the word, but definitely had an unhealthy relationship with the booze.

Something I have learned from my journey is that you NEED your GP on your side. Locking horns and complaining about them won't help, it will just reinforce their opinion.

I know your ex has swayed your opinion on what is and what isn't alcohol abuse and dependence, but try to step back. Think if a friend of yours was in your position, what would your advice to them be? Nobody here is judging you, reading all the comments I can see people have been up front and blunt (myself included - it's one of my traits I'm afraid!) but generally everyone is trying to be helpful and truthful, nobody has been abusive or trying to put you down.

You are quite clearly a very strong person, don't let this sway you. Even if you are refused until next year, just learn and move forwards stronger. Your story so far is pretty unique, most people don't get their licence back if the GP has issues - it is cruel that they gave your licence back then snatched it away, but it is what it is!

Take whatever time you can't drive as a blessing. 2 and 4 year old kids are amazing! When my kids were that old, they were the funniest people I have ever known! They said things as they saw it, they tried to stick forks in the dog's bum, they found the sound of ripping paper hilarious. Just put everything into perspective!
 

Polly3

Well-known member
Keep on it, don't give in - just be mindful that it might not go the way you want. Ask for a face to face with the GP, explain that you were tearful on the phone through frustration, not through self-pity at your situation.

Try to explain to her why you have previously binged, in my situation it was through emotions. Good and bad emotion would trigger me to go on a bender - then I'd feel shame and remorse, get over it and that would be that for months (until the next emotional trigger). I then did some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which was talking through my feelings and thoughts. It cost me about £600 but helped me think differently. I also went to AA, I'm not sure if I would ever be the kind of person to go through the 12 steps, but listening to others stories really helped my well being as I could see I wasn't alone, probably not a typical alcoholic in the general sense of the word, but definitely had an unhealthy relationship with the booze.

Something I have learned from my journey is that you NEED your GP on your side. Locking horns and complaining about them won't help, it will just reinforce their opinion.

I know your ex has swayed your opinion on what is and what isn't alcohol abuse and dependence, but try to step back. Think if a friend of yours was in your position, what would your advice to them be? Nobody here is judging you, reading all the comments I can see people have been up front and blunt (myself included - it's one of my traits I'm afraid!) but generally everyone is trying to be helpful and truthful, nobody has been abusive or trying to put you down.

You are quite clearly a very strong person, don't let this sway you. Even if you are refused until next year, just learn and move forwards stronger. Your story so far is pretty unique, most people don't get their licence back if the GP has issues - it is cruel that they gave your licence back then snatched it away, but it is what it is!

Take whatever time you can't drive as a blessing. 2 and 4 year old kids are amazing! When my kids were that old, they were the funniest people I have ever known! They said things as they saw it, they tried to stick forks in the dog's bum, they found the sound of ripping paper hilarious. Just put everything into perspective!
I agree entirely re the importance of getting a constructive relationship with the GP. Also , re alcohol. Labels mean little. I’d avoided getting medically labelled but had a severe underlying problem / issue for ever really . I had to stop for my own sake , irrespective of wanting to satisfy DVLA.
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
Keep on it, don't give in - just be mindful that it might not go the way you want. Ask for a face to face with the GP, explain that you were tearful on the phone through frustration, not through self-pity at your situation.

Try to explain to her why you have previously binged, in my situation it was through emotions. Good and bad emotion would trigger me to go on a bender - then I'd feel shame and remorse, get over it and that would be that for months (until the next emotional trigger). I then did some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which was talking through my feelings and thoughts. It cost me about £600 but helped me think differently. I also went to AA, I'm not sure if I would ever be the kind of person to go through the 12 steps, but listening to others stories really helped my well being as I could see I wasn't alone, probably not a typical alcoholic in the general sense of the word, but definitely had an unhealthy relationship with the booze.

Something I have learned from my journey is that you NEED your GP on your side. Locking horns and complaining about them won't help, it will just reinforce their opinion.

I know your ex has swayed your opinion on what is and what isn't alcohol abuse and dependence, but try to step back. Think if a friend of yours was in your position, what would your advice to them be? Nobody here is judging you, reading all the comments I can see people have been up front and blunt (myself included - it's one of my traits I'm afraid!) but generally everyone is trying to be helpful and truthful, nobody has been abusive or trying to put you down.

You are quite clearly a very strong person, don't let this sway you. Even if you are refused until next year, just learn and move forwards stronger. Your story so far is pretty unique, most people don't get their licence back if the GP has issues - it is cruel that they gave your licence back then snatched it away, but it is what it is!

Take whatever time you can't drive as a blessing. 2 and 4 year old kids are amazing! When my kids were that old, they were the funniest people I have ever known! They said things as they saw it, they tried to stick forks in the dog's bum, they found the sound of ripping paper hilarious. Just put everything into perspective!
Yea, it seems impossible to get a face to face appointment at my surgery, even with a telephone appointment it's at least a weeks wait. But I get what you mean about needing the GP on my side, it's just frustrating that we've been over it twice... I'm probably the most calm out of my friends so their advice would no doubt be to drink more 😆 but yes, I see that point as well. Hopefully I can get it resolved some how. But if I have to go sober for 12months, its also another 24 months after that and I'm only human, I like to let my hair down once in a while and three years is a long time!
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
The GP I have given as a reference to DVLA once told me to try taking cannabis for back pain.

Hopefully he'll back up my licence application if they write to him. :):)
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
Managed to get a face to face for 5th Nov, but do you think if I requested a different doctor, it would cause more problems where the dvla are concerned? I know I'm still feeling angry today which is effecting my judgement on my appointed doctor, but I can't guarantee that I won't be high rate on my actual appointment date...
 

grice96

Well-known member
Managed to get a face to face for 5th Nov, but do you think if I requested a different doctor, it would cause more problems where the dvla are concerned? I know I'm still feeling angry today which is effecting my judgement on my appointed doctor, but I can't guarantee that I won't be high rate on my actual appointment date...

@Jessicalala I believe that the way your doctor has worded her correspondence will not change the DVLA's mind on dependence unfortunately. It is worded in such a way that it is conveying your opinion and not the doctors medical opinion. In the wording of the phrase "she insisted that she abuses alcohol but is not dependent on it and insists that I clarify this hence the letter" — The doctor has not clarified her own medical opinion here, they have clarified your opinion on your health. The doctor has purposefully done this to avoid liability in the decision making process and has (in a very formal manner) legitimized the DVLA's decision with the use of the phrase, "the decision for her to have a driving licence is ultimately decided by your authority."

I'm sorry that this is not the letter that you were expecting, however, how the DVLA define dependence and how the every man perceives dependence are two very different things. The DVLA look at it the way it's been described here by other posters, the WHO definition, rather than the 3 litre bottle of white cider under a bridge perception held by a lot of the public. You need to maintain a good relationship with your GP in order to have their continued support moving forward if the DVLA are asking for 12 months of sobriety. You have a date of last drink logged with your GP, a few LFT's and you could be back on the road next summer. You can keep fighting the fight, but your letter from your doctor would not give me a lot of faith if it was about myself. I don't mean to be blunt if it comes across that way, this must be so disappointing for you I'm really sorry I can't contribute anything more positive.
 

Polly3

Well-known member
Managed to get a face to face for 5th Nov, but do you think if I requested a different doctor, it would cause more problems where the dvla are concerned? I know I'm still feeling angry today which is effecting my judgement on my appointed doctor, but I can't guarantee that I won't be high rate on my actual appointment date...
I would not ask to change Dr, not for anything to do with the DVLA, but because it will get you nowhere in terms of getting contents of letter changed . I would try to manage feelings as far as possible and use the opportunity to present yourself as rationally , coherently, and reasonably as possible . They cannot fail but to recognise how the DVLA initial error in issuing licence has disadvantaged you . The view of your Dr will prevail ( unless it is demonstrably clinically preposterous ) , so use this opportunity to see them , express your insistence that you are fit to drive , and get them involved in the steps you need to take re DVLA to achieve your objective .
 

Jessicalala

Well-known member
Sooo doing the ironing and it pops into my head, obviously the doctor has never even spoken to me before all of this so doesn't even know what I look like, would providing her with character references to back me up be taking things to the extreme? Or is it worth a shot? Even if it's just to get the 6months controlled drinking option? I think I'm just clutching at straws now in my last bit of hope...
 
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