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Dave W.

Member
Theoretically, Yes! In practice however, it will generally only be subject to scrutiny by the means of annual DVLA medical for up to 6 years.
Thanks. Sounds a bit more credible than that of a DVLA as some sort of pitiless, vengeful automaton, programmed to eternally punish the miserable HRO to the end of his or her days.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Thanks. Sounds a bit more credible than that of a DVLA as some sort of pitiless, vengeful automaton, programmed to eternally punish the miserable HRO to the end of his or her days.
I'm 24 mate and they consider me one until the end of my days. But in practice, like big Tom says, the medicals usually only go on for 6 years.
 

Dave W.

Member
I'm 24 mate and they consider me one until the end of my days. But in practice, like big Tom says, the medicals usually only go on for 6 years.
Seriously, have they actually said that to you - that they consider you to be alcohol dependent until you're an OAP? If so, they must be the only government organisation left to have such a distorted view of addiction.
 

price1367

TTC Group
Seriously, have they actually said that to you - that they consider you to be alcohol dependent until you're an OAP? If so, they must be the only government organisation left to have such a distorted view of addiction.
Not correct. Althopugh not everyone who is alcohol dependent as such may qualify as 'alcoholic'. That only comes from the test of time.....

Taken from the AA handbook:

Can alcoholics go back to drinking "a little bit"?
p.22

“We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink, as he may do for months or years, he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.”

That is why DVLA are cautions of a diagnosis of 'Alcohol Dependent' on your medical file.
 

Dave W.

Member
Not correct. Althopugh not everyone who is alcohol dependent as such may qualify as 'alcoholic'. That only comes from the test of time.....

Taken from the AA handbook:

Can alcoholics go back to drinking "a little bit"?
p.22

“We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink, as he may do for months or years, he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.”

That is why DVLA are cautions of a diagnosis of 'Alcohol Dependent' on your medical file.
Not sure how a question can be "not correct'. But anyway, what is correct is that society generally has a much greater understanding of the complexities of addiction (or dependence:, they're pretty much synonymous). and this is reflected in the approach taken to the problem by institutions and I've seen nothing on the DVLC website that suggests that they're any different - certainly nothing suggesting that they would consider a 22year old offendor as a permanent, irredeemable drunk.
And whilst I hve a lot of time and respect for AA, like many others, I don't find necessarily agree with everything in their approach. Neither, I suspect, do the DVLA.
 
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grice96

Well-known member
Not sure how a question can be "not correct'. But anyway, what is correct is that society generally has a much greater understanding of the complexities of addiction (or dependence:, they're pretty much synonymous). and this is reflected in the approach taken to the problem by institutions and I've seen nothing on the DVLC website that suggests that they're any different - certainly nothing suggesting that they would consider a 22year old offendor as a permanent, irredeemable drunk.
And whilst I hve a lot of time and respect for AA, like many others, I don't find necessarily agree with everything in their approach. Neither, I suspect, do the DVLA.
Well it isn't just the DVLA with this view, alcohol dependence is listed as an "ongoing" condition on your GP's records for life, although it will be marked as "managed" if it is under control or "unmanaged" if it is not.

Although I haven't had a drop of drink since 2018, I requested a list of my ongoing medical conditions for the disability services in University for my mental health in 2020. Alcohol dependence syndrome was listed as ongoing. When I questioned why, my GP informed me because there is no cure for addiction. However, it was marked down as a managed condition. After 6 years of it being managed the DVLA will issue a 10 year licence, so the process itself isn't for life. However if my GP ever finds me to be drinking again and reports this to the DVLA I will be revoked for 12 months and the process will start again and yes that is from me now at 24 moving forward.

Although AA doesn't work for you, the principals and fundamentals of the big book apply to almost every addict. If you replace the word God with your own higher power it's easier to digest, my own higher power was overcoming my mental health. Getting sober has pretty much got me there bar one of two bad days a year, a lot better than where I was. Honestly mate and I do not mean to be blunt it just is how it is, you don't end up in rehab because you've a normal relationship with alcohol.
 

Dave W.

Member
Are you sure that your alcohol dependence will still be marked down as an 'ongoing'' condition in your medical files when, say, you're 70 years old and you've been dry, say, for the last 45? Seems to me that addiction/dependence/alcohol misuse is as complex and as varied as the number of individuals who suffer it. In relation to driving it obviously needs careful monitoring. But it doesn't follow that that relationship to drink is an unalterable condition for life ( the granting of ten year licences suggests the DVLC recognise this).

Whilst I completely and utterly disagree with you about the principles and fundamentals of AA and their applicability to most addicts, I'm genuinely delighted they've worked for you. 👍

You're right about my attendance at rehab being indicative of a problem. My search for the solution continues.......🔍
 

techra

Active member
I am having difficulty even booking a medical, nobody seems to be doing them due to Covid. I am a key worker and it is seriously affecting my ability to do my job - is anybody else doing them.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Are you sure that your alcohol dependence will still be marked down as an 'ongoing'' condition in your medical files when, say, you're 70 years old and you've been dry, say, for the last 45? Seems to me that addiction/dependence/alcohol misuse is as complex and as varied as the number of individuals who suffer it. In relation to driving it obviously needs careful monitoring. But it doesn't follow that that relationship to drink is an unalterable condition for life ( the granting of ten year licences suggests the DVLC recognise this).

Whilst I completely and utterly disagree with you about the principles and fundamentals of AA and their applicability to most addicts, I'm genuinely delighted they've worked for you. 👍

You're right about my attendance at rehab being indicative of a problem. My search for the solution continues.......🔍
All medical conditions without a cure are considered on going conditions. I have had psoriasis since I was a baby but have not been seen by a doctor for it since 6, it is one of my ongoing conditions on my medical history 18 years later. After 6 years dry the DVLA just consider you to be a lower risk rather than cured. The majority of relapse happens within the first 3 years, until last year they used to look at 3 years of history. There is a post somewhere on this forum that can be searched for pointing out then the question was changed from "in the last 3 years" to in the last 6 years.

This change happened after the very high profile court case surround the Glasgow bin lorry driver incident where the DVLA's medical process was touted as an aggravating factor in the incident where the offender's medical past wasn't scrutinised enough. After this quite public failure they tightened up the whole process to where it is today as the questions on the form did not go back far enough to detect the driver's past blackouts.

It's like how a drink driving conviction is for life. We can stop declaring it to insurance at 5 years, it will fall off our licence in 11 years. But it will appear on a criminal check until our 100th birthday. I wish you every success on your search, there are great Rehab centres in Ireland/NI that are €720 for 12 weeks and there were people from the rest of the UK that had travelled there when I was there to take advantage of the low cost Vs the rest of the UK.
 

grice96

Well-known member
I am having difficulty even booking a medical, nobody seems to be doing them due to Covid. I am a key worker and it is seriously affecting my ability to do my job - is anybody else doing them.
You can only have a medical with a DVLA approved doctor. If there's no appointments it's a waiting game unfortunately.
 
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Dave W.

Member
All medical conditions without a cure are considered on going conditions. I have had psoriasis since I was a baby but have not been seen by a doctor for it since 6, it is one of my ongoing conditions on my medical history 18 years later. After 6 years dry the DVLA just consider you to be a lower risk rather than cured. The majority of relapse happens within the first 3 years, until last year they used to look at 3 years of history. There is a post somewhere on this forum that can be searched for pointing out then the question was changed from "in the last 3 years" to in the last 6 years.

This change happened after the very high profile court case surround the Glasgow bin lorry driver incident where the DVLA's medical process was touted as an aggravating factor in the incident where the offender's medical past wasn't scrutinised enough. After this quite public failure they tightened up the whole process to where it is today as the questions on the form did not go back far enough to detect the driver's past blackouts.

It's like how a drink driving conviction is for life. We can stop declaring it to insurance at 5 years, it will fall off our licence in 11 years. But it will appear on a criminal check until our 100th birthday. I wish you every success on your search, there are great Rehab centres in Ireland/NI that are €720 for 12 weeks and there were people from the rest of the UK that had travelled there when I was there to take advantage of the low cost Vs the rest of the UK.
Oh well, we'll just have to agree to disagree about whether alcohol dependency can be cured or managed and what the attitude of the DVLA is to the issue. Though I'm sure you're right to suggest that they they err on the side of caution.
And thanks for the info regarding rehab costs in Ireland. Having had a brief experience in one in this country, I - and honestly, this is nothing personal - I will never darken another's door again!

Good luck and take care of yourself.
 

BigTom

Well-known member
Oh well, we'll just have to agree to disagree about whether alcohol dependency can be cured or managed and what the attitude of the DVLA is to the issue. Though I'm sure you're right to suggest that they they err on the side of caution.
And thanks for the info regarding rehab costs in Ireland. Having had a brief experience in one in this country, I - and honestly, this is nothing personal - I will never darken another's door again!

Good luck and take care of yourself.
It always makes me smile when somebody comes onto this forum and asks questions, only to totally dismiss the answers given by people who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt!

You seem to already have made your mind up about everything (you are not an alcoholic, alcohol dependence can be cured, AA and rehab don't work, DVLA don't judge etc...) so are either extremely knowledgeable, extremely naïve or just extremely stubborn (in my considered opinion) so I'm unsure why you bother asking questions here at all???
 

Dave W.

Member
It always makes me smile when somebody comes onto this forum and asks questions, only to totally dismiss the answers given by people who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt!

You seem to already have made your mind up about everything (you are not an alcoholic, alcohol dependence can be cured, AA and rehab don't work, DVLA don't judge etc...) so are either extremely knowledgeable, extremely naïve or just extremely stubborn (in my considered opinion) so I'm unsure why you bother asking questions here at all???
Most of the responses concerning my HRO medical repeated and reinforced the AA philosophy that alcohol misuse is an incurable life sentence, that the DVLC subscribe to that view, and that I should therefore deal with it on those terms. Fair enough, question answered. But whilst respecting that advice I happen to disagree with it's central premise. My view, based both on a lot of personal experience of AA, rehab, therapy, drink-driving, the courts, the probation service et al and supported by extensive peer-reviewed research, is that AA (and the rehab facilities that follow the AA template) don't work for everyone. Research also suggests a low rate of success that gets nowhere near tackling the underlying causes of alcohol misuse (indeed, there's some suggestion of the opposite effect occuring). Other approaches to dependency may lead to better outcomes, including responsible alcohol use (also known as 'a cure'). I thought it possible that some of this more scientific evidence could be informing DVLA decision-making.

Now I might be completely wrong, deluding myself, and obviously you disagree, which I respect. Your ad hominem attacks, however, do not reflect well on you.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Most of the responses concerning my HRO medical repeated and reinforced the AA philosophy that alcohol misuse is an incurable life sentence, that the DVLC subscribe to that view, and that I should therefore deal with it on those terms. Fair enough, question answered. But whilst respecting that advice I happen to disagree with it's central premise. My view, based both on a lot of personal experience of AA, rehab, therapy, drink-driving, the courts, the probation service et al and supported by extensive peer-reviewed research, is that AA (and the rehab facilities that follow the AA template) don't work for everyone. Research also suggests a low rate of success that gets nowhere near tackling the underlying causes of alcohol misuse (indeed, there's some suggestion of the opposite effect occuring). Other approaches to dependency may lead to better outcomes, including responsible alcohol use (also known as 'a cure'). I thought it possible that some of this more scientific evidence could be informing DVLA decision-making.

Now I might be completely wrong, deluding myself, and obviously you disagree, which I respect. Your ad hominem attacks, however, do not reflect well on you.
I've met many men like you, they want peer reviewed research about addiction, they talked all about responsible use, they talked all about how the system's opinion was wrong and how they were so much smarter and better informed than everyone else. I would need more than 2 hands to count how many of them are dead now since 2018. I don't preach AA, all I said here is that the fundamentals are correct. Big book thumpers make my skin crawl the same way Bible thumpers do.

Best of luck on your search, your minds made up and that's okay. I hope you can accept your problem but this forum isn't for argueing, it's about the drink driving process and the DVLA. Since the conversation has departed so wildly from that I'm pretty done here.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
To regain your licence you need to accept the fact that you will need to stay within the guidelines set by the dvla. I have read through this thread and you are in denial of your drinking.You went into rehab attended AA and got got done for DD.

I'll go through the process, admit to the issues and if it comes down to a choice between enjoying a drink or driving a car, well, I'll have to make a call.

Your comment above is total bullshite.If you really want your licence back cut back or stop drinking simple. If your not bothered why apply and i would be very surprised if nothing is showing on your medical records.
 
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Dave W.

Member
I've met many men like you, they want peer reviewed research about addiction, they talked all about responsible use, they talked all about how the system's opinion was wrong and how they were so much smarter and better informed than everyone else. I would need more than 2 hands to count how many of them are dead now since 2018. I don't preach AA, all I said here is that the fundamentals are correct. Big book thumpers make my skin crawl the same way Bible thumpers do.

Best of luck on your search, your minds made up and that's okay. I hope you can accept your problem but this forum isn't for argueing, it's about the drink driving process and the DVLA. Since the conversation has departed so wildly from that I'm pretty done here.
I don't recall suggesting you preach anything. Interestingly I've met many like you who find AA helps them to successfully address their drink problem and who get very defensive about it when others express a contrary view. And I've known several committed members who've relapsed with catastrophic results. For the record, I don't think I'm smarter than you or anybody else who's dealing with a drink problem, I just think it's important to tell to tell my own truth. Others who might find AA doesn't work for them and who might be feeling to blame need to know that, whatever the dogma, it's not their fault. So yes my mind's made up about AA. As is yours
And given this is, as you correctly point out, a drink-drive forum, I can't see anything wrong with discussing the drinking aspect of it. As we've both been doing.

A suggestion. Type ' why AA doesn't work for everyone' into Google - you'll see where I'm coming from.

Once again, good luck.
 

Dave W.

Member
To regain your licence you need to accept the fact that you will need to stay within the guidelines set by the dvla. I have read through this thread and you are in denial of your drinking.You went into rehab attended AA and got got done for DD.

I'll go through the process, admit to the issues and if it comes down to a choice between enjoying a drink or driving a car, well, I'll have to make a call.

Your comment above is total bullshite.If you really want your licence back cut back or stop drinking simple. If your not bothered why apply and i would be very surprised if nothing is showing on your medical records.
Yes, obviously the DVLA call the shots, end of. Regarding being in denial about my drinking: you mighl be right, but I don't think I am. I'm afraid I didn't quite understand the rest of your post. Isn't making a call between continuing to drink, or continuing to drive the same as regaining my license by stopping drinking, as you suggest?

As for my medical records: no, you're wrong. I've checked them online and there are no references to alcohol whatsoever.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Yes, obviously the DVLA call the shots, end of. Regarding being in denial about my drinking: you mighl be right, but I don't think I am. I'm afraid I didn't quite understand the rest of your post. Isn't making a call between continuing to drink, or continuing to drive the same as regaining my license by stopping drinking, as you suggest?

As for my medical records: no, you're wrong. I've checked them online and there are no references to alcohol whatsoever.
I looked at all your posts dave and sticks out you still think drinking and applying for your licence is ok.Simple fact is if you really want to drive again you will need to cut down to a very small amount or abstain. You will be classed as HRO due to your high reading so they will contact GP in most cases unless your CDT levels are below 0.9.It can take months for those to drop prior to a medical
 

Dave W.

Member
I looked at all your posts dave and sticks out you still think drinking and applying for your licence is ok.Simple fact is if you really want to drive again you will need to cut down to a very small amount or abstain. You will be classed as HRO due to your high reading so they will contact GP in most cases unless your CDT levels are below 0.9.It can take months for those to drop prior to a medical
Six months into a dry period, though my consumption of alcohol has diminished greatly and though I'm not an alcoholic (you'll just have to take my word on that) I'd still like to have a no-driving-involved drink if I want one. If I can regain my license without having to prove my sobriety every three months (or whatever it is), then good. So you're right,: I would like my licence back. And I would like a drink. And I would keep the two separate. And what's wrong with that? However, if that option isn't there, (and I've had very useful info about all this on this forum) then I've a decision to make.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Six months into a dry period, though my consumption of alcohol has diminished greatly and though I'm not an alcoholic (you'll just have to take my word on that) I'd still like to have a no-driving-involved drink if I want one. If I can regain my license without having to prove my sobriety every three months (or whatever it is), then good. So you're right,: I would like my licence back. And I would like a drink. And I would keep the two separate. And what's wrong with that? However, if that option isn't there, (and I've had very useful info about all this on this forum) then I've a decision to make.
Like everything else in moderation. 6 months dry then read up and get all the info you need and decide to apply or not.We have all been there or going through same situation.
 
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