New Drink Driving Laws 2013
New Drink Driving Legislation in Effect as of 1st June 2013
New government legislation has been introduced in order to help increase road safety in the UK. The legislation introduced specifically targets drink drivers who are classified as 'High Risk Offenders' and will be effective from 1st June 2013.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 88) - Amended
The most important and major change to current legislation is the amendment to Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988.
Drivers who are classed as high risk offenders are required to satisfy the DVLA of their fitness to drive by taking and passing a DVLA medical examination before the DVLA will issue them with a driving licence. This is to ensure they meet the DVLA medical standards of fitness to drive and they:
- are not alcohol dependent; and/or
- do not misuse alcohol
Currently, the majority of high risk offenders are legally entitled to drive upon expiration of their driving disqualification and before taking and passing the DVLA medical examination if a qualifying driving licence application has been received by the DVLA under Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988.
This is all set to change as section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 has been amended. As of 1st June 2013, high risk offenders will no longer be legally entitled to drive while awaiting their DVLA medical examination results.
As of 1st June 2013 high risk offenders will only be legally entitled to drive if and when they take and successfully pass the DVLA medical examination and have been issued a driving licence by the DVLA.
High Risk Offender Scheme Extended
The Motor Vehicle (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999 provides legislation on the criteria drivers must meet in order to be classified as a high risk offender.
This criteria will be extended to include any person disqualified by order of a court for failing, without reasonable excuse, to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood taken from any person while that person was incapable of consenting to the specimen being taken.
NOTE: The new legislation DOES NOT APPLY where the conviction in respect to which the disqualification was ordered was imposed before the date on which the new legislation commences. The new legislation commences on 1st June 2013. The new legislation will apply to any relevant convictions on or after this date.
Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond stated:
"Drink drivers are a menace and it is right that we do everything we can to keep the most high risk offenders off the road. These changes will tighten up the law on drink driving and will mean that the most dangerous offenders will have to prove they are no longer dependent on alcohol before they are allowed to get back behind the wheel."