Light at the end of the tunnel

#1
Just wanted to pass on my experience rearding my drink drive conviction and try to give any people going through it a glimmer of hope and to let them know that the is light at the end of the long dark tunnel.
On the evening I was arrested sunday 17th september 2017 after visiting a friend to talk about the on going relationship issues with my wife which I don’t need to go into detail about but lets just say I was confussed angry and a bit scared and this clearly had an effect on my decision making that night. I had driven to my friends house with the idea of leaving my car at his house and getting a taxi later for the 2.5 mile journey back to my parents house where I had been staying, after a lot of beer we decided to call ita night an call a taxi but of course the were non available !! so I decided to walk. I started my walk only to be greeted with a heavy down pour so like a complete idiot I jumped im my car and set off. After about half a mile the car behind lit up and I was pulled over, well my heart sank as I knew I was well over. The police officers asked me if I had drank and when, to be fair they were very decent polite and fair with me the only problem was that they didn’t have a breathlyzer so we had to wait for another car to turn up with one which took around 20 minutes and then another police car turned up so I had 3 cars all with blue light on and 5 or 6 police officers ! people must of thought that they had stopped the kray twins or something, anyway I blew and iwas well over so off I go to the station luckly I wasn’t cuffed but my first ride in a police car was scary.
once at the station i blew 103 on the big machine and the reading was put into context for me and my world caved in, i was taken to the desk sergeant charged and take to a cell where i spent the next 6 hours lisening to the sound of the other prisoners yelling and screaming, wondering how the hell i have ended up in this shameful situation. After a long 6 or so hours i was taken from the cell photograhed and DNA & fingerprints taken handed a court summons and kicked out. like a fool i thought my car would of been waiting for me outside...as if... so it was a call my dad and he come for me. that sunday was the worst day of my life i was so scared and ashamed, i thought i would be sacked and go to prison.

My court date was 4th october 2017 and my advice is that if you are a high risk offender get some legal advice and if you can take a solicitor to mediate for you, they are expensive but my solicitor got me the best result possiblle result which was the obligtory 24 month ban but he managed to talk the magistrates around to giving me a 12 week curfew instead of comunity service. also when you go to court put on a suit and try and look as smart and polite as possible as they want to see that you are respecting the court also write a letter to the magistrates explaing your remorse for what happened plus if you can get a couple of good character referance then this may all help you and pretty much guarantee that the court will offer the drink drive awarnes course which will give you a 25% reduction on completion.
After the court hearing is out of the way i guarantee you will start to feel better, the is a long long way to go but your now on your way. I was and am lucky enough to have wonderful parents who have helped me no end, they have taken me to work every other week and a very close friend who i work with takes me the other and as i write this i have 7 weeks to go until my ban ends and i have still managed to keep it hidden from my work and other friends with a lot of white lies and not telling people to much about my life, basically if you want to keep it secret then keep yourself to yourself.
I wanted to get the drink drive course done asap so I signed up and paid my £250 for my course which would be done over 3 consecutive Saturdays so the was no odd days holiday to take. The first day of the course is daunting but once your in and settled it's actually very interesting and informative also it's a good chance to chat with fellow drink drivers tbh it can be rather funny and a release valve at times and I met a few nice guys but the were some people who you knew had drink problems. Ironically 4 of us had a few pints after the last day which was good and it draw a line under that part of the journey.
The next year 2018 did pass very slowly and you will get wet, cold and frustrated with public transport but just put your head down and say to yourself that it's not for ever... it will be ok... difficult but ok.
As a high risk offender I received my letter from DVLA 90 days before the ban ends so get that sent off asap, my ban ends on 3 April 2019 so I had my last drink on Christmas day and haven't touched a drop since and it's been fine but I haven't lost a pound in weight after 7 weeks of abstanance so I guess I wasn't a big swigger anyway, I had a private medichecks CDT test and my result was 0.7% the lowest reading I believe is 0.6% so I'm 99% confident my medical which I have on Monday 11th February will be fine...I did have Heineken zero % lager and it does scratch that itch slightly... it's ok if you get it really cold and swig it from the can... Well I'm nearly at the end of it all now and I have ordered my new car so by 3rd April I should be back on the road :)) I'm going to point the new car North and have a road trip to the Scottish Highlands...just me, my car and put the last 18 months behind me.
Hope this helps someone a little as I have found the forum a godsend in my lowest moment and just remember the ban will end and like me most of us will never drive again after even one drink so keep on going and good luck....the is light at the end of the tunnel.
 

craig121

Well-known member
#2
Well done slip thanks for the honest informative post, many many similarities only difference was I got a lift home from PC plod in morning but rest is spot on and not a pleasant experience
 
#3
Thanks Craig, just wanted share my experience and get it all off my chest... also perhaps give a little hope to people who have just been charged...we all make mistakes at the end of the day.
 

Sillylivvy

Active member
#4
Thanks for this and enjoy you drive to Scotland! I have to wait until Dec this year- course starts next week and hoping this year goes by as quick as it can.
 
#5
As I say just grin and bare it as it will pass slowly but just remember it's not forever and as I say the course is actually very informative...well mine was but I suppose it depends on the group and the person taking the course.
 
#6
Slip1970. Your story is almost a mirror of mine. I was caught on Friday the 7th April 2017 and as my reading was 121 (nearly 5.5 the new lower limits in Scotland,) I was actually kept in Police Custody for 3 nights and taken to court in handcuffs on the Monday. Police Custody is actually worse than being in Prison. I haven't ever been given a Prison Sentence, but trust me I know what it's like in a prison (work it out for yourself.) No shoes. No belt to hold up your trousers. Grotty UPVC mattress to lie on with one blanket. You need to ask for loo paper. The first Police Custody suite I was in at least had a flush system and a whb in the cell, but no soap or paper towels. I was moved on the Saturday to a dickensian Custody Suite in another station with no in cell flush, no in cell sink and no way to wash your hands. Only wet wipes which you had to ask for. No exercise apart from pacing up and down thinking what a dickhead you have been. You also had to eat in the cell and God knows it the place was ever cleaned as the throughput was phenomenal. The noise from other 'inmates' was a joke. Guys high on spice screaming all night at the top of their lungs. People screaming for the Doctor. 'Pals' discussing their upcoming court cases. Nightmare. And remember, you as yet have not been convicted of anything and yet are treated worse than people who have been convicted of really serious offences.

Then when you get to court, you end up locked in a holding cell with a bunch of in my case, exclusively' frequent flyers,' who all new the ropes. The strange thing is, I actually got on fairly well with most of them as essentially we all came from a similar working class background. I had just been lucky enough to have the wit and intelligence to go down the 'correct' route (well up until that point.)

I received a 20 month ban and a £400 fine. I reapplied for my licence in the middle of October 2018. My GP took 8 weeks to send a report back to the DVLA who had requested one. The DVLA Dr they appointed for me was on holiday and I couldn't get a fixed date. Eventually I have an appointment for tomorrow, which is 18 weeks after I initially re-applied for my licence.

I had a Medichecks CDT carried out last Monday and the reading like yours, was 0.7%. SO hopefully by tomorrow it will be even lower.
 
#7
Thanks for your sharing your experience luna2000, for me it's almost a form of therapy really. My DVLA medical went fine and the feed bank from the polite and understanding doctor was in his words " I wish everyone was as straight forward as you " so I should hear back soon with the DVLA verdict so fingers crossed !!

The thing is people make mistakes and in many cases the are good reasons why people do make wrong decisions !! The hardship that follows is really difficult and will definitely mean I will never do it again.

Good luck tomorrow luna2000...then isn't much to worry about if your drinking habbits and past medical history is ok.
 
#8
Test went well.

First thing I was asked to to was complete the SAME DR1 questionnaire that I had already competed when I applied for my licence back. I don't know if they do this to see if you dramatically change anything, but it seems a bit of a waste of time as some of the dates I originally entered will not exactly tally with the dates I put in today as they were rough estimates given what I could remember. My GP has already written to the DVLA in any case prior to the test and the test was only authorised by the DVLA after they had received their report.

The DVLA Dr. then goes over the form with you. There is a Question in Part B of the DR1 form that asks about your GP and Consultant. GP info not a problem, but as I had never had to see a Consultant about any alcohol related issues, I left this blank on my original form. The Dr. at the medical today asked the same question but then added have you had any counselling. Now I did have counselling for a few months about a year ago, but as the question specifically asked for a Consultants name and address I left it blank. Dr. said I should have given them the name of the Counsellor I worked with. So if that is the case, then the form is not very clear. My GP probably mentioned this in his report to DVLA anyway, but the DVLA Dr. wrote it on the form. I'll not be happy of they want another report from the Counsellor.

Height and weight were then taken then blood pressure, then chest was sounded. I have a chest infection just now so she said she would mention that in her report (?). Physical exam entails lying on your back with the Dr. pressing your abdomen to check for swollen liver and spleen (said mine was okay.) Basic eye test i.e "How many fingers am I holding up?" and then asked to follow her finger with my eyes as she moved it around. All good.

I was then given a questionnaire with 10 additional questions on it that were purely subsets of what had already been asked in the DR1 form but each question had a number of answers each with a score from 0 - 5. The only one I answered positively was Question 10 where "has a relative ever advised you cut down my alcohol intake but not in the last year." That gave me a score of 2.

To be honest the entire process seemed pretty basic, and unless I missed something, was practically a re-hash of the DR1 with some very limited health checks carried out.

Blood was taken for the CDT test (my Medichecks test last week was 0.7%,) and the Dr. said this would be mailed to Viacheck today. I asked if she could fax her report through to DVLA and she said yes that wouldn't be a problem but they wouldn't make a decision until the blood test results were available (which I understood.)

It was pretty painless and no one was judgemental in anyway.
 
#9
Glad it went ok luna2000... sounds like the medical is a pretty standard procedure, however I had my reflex checked by having my knee tapped with a small hammer ? Not sure why but it was fine.
I expect these medicals are nice little earner for the doctors as £90 odd for 30 minutes works isn't bad.
Still no news from DVLA as yet but it's only been 11 days since mine so expect it takes a little longer until they make a decision / contact you.
 
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