Below are some of the common questions people have about the course:
I was in court 14 days ago, why haven't you written to me yet?
Some courts take longer than 14 days to get paperwork to us. We suggest you wait three to four weeks to receive your letter from us. Do not leave it longer than four weeks so that you have the maximum amount of choice of courses from which to choose. We suggest you obtain a copy of your referral order, mark it 'client copy' in the top right hand corner, and post/fax it to us.
People on the course won't be like me, will I be the odd one out?
People on our courses come from all parts of society; manual workers, teachers, nurses, company directors, footballers, secretaries, solicitors - the young, the old and every age in between; men and women, people receiving benefit and millionaires. Courses are relaxed and friendly. You are likely to find someone like you on the course. Many groups, or parts of groups meet socially. Some good friendships have been made on the course. Remember, everyone coming has the same concern, and similar worries, that you do.
Will you try and stop me drinking?
No. We have to make you aware of the effects of alcohol on us, but we will not condemn you for what you choose to do. We are not against alcohol, we are against driving with alcohol inside us.
What happens if I miss a session?
If you miss a session, you fail the course. Where there are exceptional reasons, you may be able to make up the missed work, but you may have to attend a session in a different town, if one is available before your next course date, and pay a fee. Often, people who miss a session need to take another course (if they have time) and this involves paying the full fee again.
Can I take sessions from several different courses?
No. The government have set out that rehabilitation courses must be undertaken as a group. It is not possible, therefore, to switch from course to course; you need to pass through the scheme as part of one group of people.
What if I don't want to take a course?
That is your right. However, there is little to fear and everything to gain. You will get back on the road earlier, you will have the knowledge to avoid driving with alcohol in your body again, and perhaps a prison sentence. You will also save money on your motor insurance. Remember, as well, that the offence is a criminal conviction. If you apply for a new job, you are likely to declare it - it may be important to show prospective employers that you chose to deal positively with the offence.
What do I need to bring with me to courses?
You need a pen, spectacles if you wear them and some form of ID.
Will I need to take my driving test again?
Not normally. Magistrates would have told you if you need to take your test again.
Will I need a medical?
You will only need a medical if you are considered a 'high risk offender'. If you have been disqualified twice within a ten year period, or your alcohol reading was more than 87.5 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath (or equivalent), or if you were convicted for failing to provide a specimen for analysis. For further information contact the DVLA on 0300 7906806.
I have difficulties with English, can I take a friend or relative with me?
This is one of the few circumstances where we allow you to bring someone onto the course with you. You will need to recieve authorisation to do this, so please discuss it with our office staff.
What if I have not been referred to the scheme?
There is little we can do to get your ban reduced. You could ask the court to refer you 'after the event', but this is rarely successful. You can appeal your sentence, asking to be referred. You should consult a solicitor about this without delay. If your ban is over two years, you have the right to go back to court once two years are over, asking for your ban to be reduced. Usually, they will want good grounds to allow this. Taking a course voluntarily may be considered good grounds. If this option interests you, call us at our office.
I missed my chance, can I take a course just for the insurance saving?
In the right circumstances. Call our office about this because the course is done in a slightly different way. For example, your fee may be different because we cannot subsidise fees where you are not booking through the referral system.
I have a disability, will I be able to get into the venue?
We hire a variety of venues (hotels, meeting places etc.) and we cannot guarantee that all can cater for you. Call us before you book a course and try to book as early as possible. This will give us the best opportunity to organise the venue around your needs.
What will happen if I was out late drinking before a course session?
We do fail people who come to sessions with alcohol in their body from the night before. To ensure this does not happen, do not drink within 15 hours of a session (for a nine-in-the-morning session this means avoiding alcohol after six the previous evening). Before this time ensure that you are not drinking heavily, no more than eight single spirits (or) four pints (or) five glasses of wine over the whole day.
What if I want to make a complaint?
To see our full complaint procedure and what steps to take please click here.