Retaking a Driving Test After a Drink Driving Ban / Disqualification
Do you need to re-take your driving test after a drink driving conviction?
In the UK if you are convicted of drink driving you do not automatically have to re-take your driving test once your disqualification is over.
New drivers who are convicted of drink driving in their two year probationary period also do not have to automatically re-take their driving test. The new drivers act only applies where six or more penalty points are imposed.
Magistrates have the discretion to order a re-test and can order any person who is convicted of drink driving and disqualified to retake their driving test.
The discretion Magistrates have to order a retest is only 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).
If you have been ordered to retake your driving test by the sentencing court the type of driving test you will need to take depends on the offence you were convicted of.
An extended retest will be required if:
- A person is convicted of a driving offence where a driving disqualification is obligatory. Drink driving offences where disqualification is obligatory include:
- driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol, or
- driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink or drugs, or
- failing to provide a specimen for analysis (drive/attempt to drive)
If a person is convicted of any of the above offences (where disqualification is obligatory) and the magistrates state they must re-take their driving test, it will be the extended driving test that applies.
A standard retest will be required if:
- A person is convicted of any endorsable offence where disqualification is not obligatory. Endorsable drink driving offences where disqualification is not obligatory include:
- in charge while unfit through drink or drugs, or
- in charge with excess alcohol, or
- failing to provide a specimen for analysis (in charge)
If a person is convicted of any of the above offences (where disqualification is not obligatory) and the magistrates state that they must retake their driving test, it will be the standard driving test that applies.
Retaking Driving Test after Disqualification
If you are required to retake your driving test you will need to apply for your provisional licence and then pass both the theory test and the practical driving test.
Once your application pack has been delivered simply fill it out and return it to the DVLA with the appropriate fee.
If you are classed as a high risk offender the DVLA will contact you after receiving your application and provide you with details on how to arrange a DVLA medical examination.
Once you are issued with a provisional licence you will then have to take steps to pass your theory test and practical driving test (or extended practical driving test).
Driving Licence Theory Test
In order to pass the theory test you will need to brush up on your knowledge of the Highway Code and your hazard perceptions skills.
You MUST complete and pass the theory test first, in order to take your practical driving test. The theory test is in two parts:
First part - Multiple Choice Questions
The first part of the theory test consists of multiple choice questions based on the Highway Code.
- For cars and motorcycles: you will be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes and you must get 43 questions out of 50 correct in order to pass the first part of the test.
- For lorries and buses: you will be asked 100 questions in 115 minutes and you must get 85 questions out of 100 correct in order to pass the first part of the test.
Second part - Hazard Perception
After completing the first part of the test, you will be allowed a 3 minute break before the second part of the test begins. The second part of the theory test is based on hazard perception.
You will be shown video clips which will feature everyday road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one hazard, but some may contain two hazards.
The quicker you respond to each hazard the more points you get, with a maximum of 5 points allowed for each hazard identified.
- For cars and motorcycles: you will be shown 14 video clips and you must score 44 out of 75 in order to pass.
- For lorries and buses: you must score 50 out of 75 in order to pass. There is a separate lorry and bus hazard perception test in which you will be shown 19 video clips, you must score 67 out of 100 in order to pass.
Practical Driving Test
First of all you should find a qualified and approved driving instructor (ADI) in your local area and take appropriate lessons in order to brush up on your driving skills.
The practical driving test will assess your overall ability to drive safely and within the rules and regulations set forth in the highway code.
At the beginning of the practical driving test you will be asked to perform an eyesight test. You must be able to read a number plate that is a certain distance away (approximately 20 feet). If you fail the eyesight test, your practical driving test will be aborted.
You will be asked two questions on vehicle safety/maintenance during your practical driving test and your driving ability will be under constant assessment in a variety of everyday driving situations.
Your reversing and parking skills will also be assessed and you may be asked to perform an emergency stop.
In Northern Ireland if you are convicted of drink driving and disqualified you will need to retake your driving test.