The Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course

C J 1980

Member
Morning

I was convicted of drink driving on the 27th February this year and banned for 28 months. Therefore if I served the full term of my ban I wouldn't be eligible to drive until midnight on the 27th June 2021.

However, the court offered me the drink driving reduction course that would reduce my ban by 28 weeks. I think there are some slight misconceptions about the 25% reduction because courts NEVER give you 25% time off your ban after completing the course. For example, 25% of my own ban is actually 30 weeks (7 months exactly) and NOT 28 weeks. People that get a standard 12 month ban get 12 weeks reduction from the court when 25% is actually 13 weeks!

When I was given the leaflet in court the TTC company had published the 25% number on the cover which I find very misleading. When I did my own calculations about my own ban I worked out originally that I should be eligible for the return of my licence by the end of November 2020 (before I learned I get 28 weeks and not 30) when in fact I won't get it back until around the 13th December once I had worked out the maths. I actually raised this with the lady from TTC who I spoke to when booking my course over the telephone.

The course itself was pretty straight forward and relaxed. The course is 18 hours long and is run over three days. Day one is only four hours, while day two and three are seven hours (this is taking out your coffee and lunch breaks). When providing feedback I suggested that I would much prefer to have done just two longer days rather than doing a shorter day. The main reason for this was because of travelling and paying for bus or train fares. One lady on my course had to catch two buses to the venue which was in a community centre.

The availability of courses provided by the TTC is limited and unfortunately the town where I live only ran one course at the time that had already been booked up. I them plumped for a course in a neighbouring town which took half an hour on the bus so I didn't have any great difficulty getting there.

There were 16 of us on the course and we were divided into four tables of four people. The three people at my table were all at different stages of their bans and again the bans varied in length. As I've said in another post on another thread, my conviction cost me my job but my three table companions had not suffered the same fate and were all gainfully employed. One had her own marketing business, the second was a nurse and the third was an accountant. The nurse did say she had been subject to a hearing in front of her supervisors at work because of the implications of any potential alcohol problems which are a massive discipline issue for people in the medical profession. She did say as the drink driving was committed on her rest day, her line manager had decided to put her on an action plan and she was potentially faced with regular drug/alcohol testing at in the work place.

The course trainer was a very humble bloke approaching the end of his working life. He had worked in the brewery industry most of his career and saw first hand what alcohol did to people in the hundreds of pubs he traded with and work colleagues who developed drinking problems because of the environment they worked in. He had worked for TTC for about fifteen years and was retiring by the end of the year as he had recently turned 70.

Like, I said the course was pretty chilled out and was quite interesting in parts such as the exercises you do about multiple alcohol units and how long they stay in your blood stream. Other parts of the course were quite mundane and I didn't really learn anything I didn't know already about the law and the impact on people's lives through drink driving.

One thing I will raise is that the course trainer did mention he could breathalise people on the course and anyone found to be turning up on the day with alcohol in their system would be dismissed from course (even though they have not driven a car or committed any new offences). Course dismissals will see people losing their entitlement to get their ban reduction and they will lose the course fee that is non refundable in these circumstances. What TTC want is to see that course candidates have at least addressed any alcohol issues and are making positive changes to get their licences back.

One lady was removed from the course because she clearly had severe alcohol problems and had tried to self detox herself so she could pass the breathaliser if she was asked. Sadly, the lady in question turned up for the second day of the course and was clearly shaking and sweating from alcohol withdrawal. The course trainer became aware that she was struggling with alcohol addiction and had to halt the course while he took her into another room and contacted her daughter to come and collect her from the venue. Sadly, in that case she never came back and the trainer was very upfront in saying she needed to address her addiction before even considering getting her licence back.

I hope what I have published on here will come in useful. The course is enjoyable and you are not judged on your mistakes. Also the course will not push you to talk about your own circumstances surrounding your ban if you feel you do not want to discuss it so again there is respect shown to people's privacy and the is no pressure to open up to others about your problems.

C J

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