Do I Have To Declare Drink Driving Matter


Drink driving

I was banned from driving when I was 17 for drink driving and I am now 30 yrs old. Do you still have to inform the insurance company of this disqualification although it was 13 yrs ago?

Dominic Says:

That all depends on what the insurance company ask you when you take out the policy. They are all different in their approach.

If they ask the question you have to answer honestly otherwise you risk your policy being invalid or being accused of making a false representation to obtain insurance cover.

However, saying that, as a conviction it is spent after five years, meaning that it won’t show on a DBS check (hence most insurance companies ask you if you have been convicted in the last five years only). In addition to that it is only valid on your licence for 10 years and after 11 years it disappears completely. So the chances are you will never even get asked about it because after 13 years it will have little/no effect on you.

Whilst this sounds confusing I will give you a couple of examples:

If an insurance company or an employer ask if you have ever been convicted of a road traffic offence, the honest answer to that is that you have. You cannot say that you haven’t as that would be misleading, even if the conviction is spent and it no longer shows on your DBS check.

You cannot lie to an insurance company. However, in reality the chances of you getting asked that question are minor as the majority of insurance companies are only bothered about the last five years.

However, in court, it is important for 10 years. If you commit a second drink driving offence within 10 years then you will be at risk of a minimum three year disqualification rather than the standard 12 months, so in court they are always interested in the last ten years.

And as far as the DVLA are concerned, they are interested in 11 years as these endorsements can only be removed from your licence after 11 years have passed.

In terms of a conviction, we often get asked whether a traffic conviction counts as a criminal conviction. Ultimately, it does. Any conviction at court for traffic offences counts as a criminal conviction. It is all under the same umbrella as criminal law and even though it is just traffic, and even if prison/community service hasn’t been ordered, it is still recorded as a criminal conviction.

The only traffic offences that do not count as a criminal conviction or ones that have been dealt with before court, for example by way of a warning or caution, by way of a speed awareness course or driver improvement course, or by way of a fixed penalty of where you accept the penalty points and fines issued by the police instead of going to court. They are not recorded as convictions.



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