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drink driving

When is drink driving spent?

Every drink driving case is different, covering everything from being in control of even a stationary vehicle to causing death while driving under the influence of alcohol. 

A criminal record for a motoring conviction will normally become ‘spent’ after five years. For example, for someone over 18: 

  • for a ban lasting less than 5 years, it becomes spent 5 years after you got it; 
  • for a ban lasting more than 5 years, it becomes spent on the date it ends.  

This means that you are no longer required to declare it to your insurers or when applying for a job.  

More serious offences, such as drink driving, remain on your driving licence and DVLA driving record for a much longer period. 

The conviction remains unspent for 11 years from the date of conviction if the offence is:  

  • Drink or drug driving – recorded as DR10, DR20, DR30, DR31, DR61 and DR80 
  • causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – recorded as CD40, CD50 and CD60 
  • causing death by careless driving, then failing to provide a specimen for analysis – recorded as CD70 
Does a drink driving conviction show on a DBS check? 

Many convictions become ‘spent’ after a Rehabilitation Period and no longer show up on DBS checks.  

The rehabilitation periods for drink driving offences are: 

  • Prison sentence over 48 months – never spent. This conviction will always be shown on a DBS check 
  • Prison sentence of 30-48 months – 7 years from the end of the sentence 
  • Prison sentence of 6-30 months – 4 years from the end of the sentence 
  • Prison sentence up to 6 months – 2 years from the end of the sentence 
  • Probation Order – 12 months from the end of the order 
  • Community Order – 12 months from the end of the order 
  • Fine – 1 year from the date of the conviction 
  • Conditional Discharge Order – from the last day of the order 
Should I get a solicitor for a drink driving accusation? 

Even if you plan to plead guilty in court it is advisable to seek legal help to: 

  • Provide you with advice on your options 
  • Represent you at the police station and accompanying you to interviews and bail requests  
  • Representing you at bail and court hearings 

If you have been arrested for drink driving get in touch with our criminal team who is available to help you 24/7.

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