New Drivers Act & Drink Driving

New Drivers Act

The new drivers act applies to any driver from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the European Community, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Gibraltar.




Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995


New Drivers probationary period

Probationary period

All new drivers who, for the first time, pass their driving test will be subject to a probationary period of 2 years from the date they pass their driving test.

Revocation of driving licence

When any new driver is convicted of an offence within the two year probationary period after passing their driving test and that offence carries an obligatory driving licence endorsement that results in the new driver accumulating 6 penalty points or more on their drivers licence, their driving licence will be revoked by the secretary of state.

Re-take driving test

If a new drivers driving licence is revoked under the new drivers act, they will have to apply for a provisional driving licence, pass their theory and practical driving tests and claim their test pass all over again.


Drink driving offences and the new drivers act


Drink driving offences where disqualification is obligatory

If a new driver is convicted of:

  1. driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol; or
  2. driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink or drugs; or
  3. failing to provide a specimen for analysis (drive/attempt to drive)

These are all offences where disqualification is obligatory. New drivers will NOT have their drivers licence revoked under the new drivers act as a result of a disqualification imposed upon conviction of these offences.

The new drivers act only applies IF the new driver accumulates 6 penalty points or more on their driving licence within the 2 year probationary period.


Drink driving offences where disqualification is NOT obligatory

If a new driver is convicted of:

  1. in charge while unfit through drink or drugs; or
  2. in charge with excess alcohol; or
  3. failing to provide a specimen for analysis (in charge)

These are all offences for which disqualification is NOT obligatory, however a disqualification MAY be imposed.

If no disqualification is imposed then 10 penalty points MUST be imposed.

This means that any new driver convicted of any of these offences who does not receive a disqualification will receive 10 penalty points and will have their driving licence automatically revoked under the new drivers act.





Magistrates have the discretion to order any person disqualified of drink drink driving related offences to re-take their driving test regardless of the new drivers act.

The discretion to order a re-test is likely to be exercised where there is evidence of inexperience, incompetence or infirmity, or the disqualification period is lengthy (i.e. a number of years)

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More information on the new drivers act

Drinkdriving.org