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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I recently had to have a DVLA medical because I was considered

Resolved Question:


I recently had to have a DVLA medical because I was considered to be an HRO.

I totally stopped drinking (and smoking) for 4 months before I had the medical examination, however because I thought it was strictly alcohol abuse they would be looking for, I thought it would be okay to smoke a little hashish, which I did by means of a pipe about a week before the medical.

Turns out that was a BIG mistake. I was refused my licence because they say, "Medical enquiry has confirmed a history of drug misuse within the last six months. The law prohibits the issue of a licence to those suffering from persistent drug misuse or dependence."

I just can't understand where they get the...persistent drug misuse or dependence from.

I do take quite a lot of medication for various ailments and wonder if maybe somehow that may have something to do with result?

Hope you can advise.

***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I feel like my licence is being held to ransom, like they are using any little excuse to keep a hold of it and not return it to me, thereby costing me time and money trying to get it back!


I had no idea they would even be looking for drugs in my system, had I known I would have completely abstained from smoking hash also.


In fact the time I phoned them up to query what was going on, i.e. what was taking so long to get my licence back, I was told (obviously before decision had been made) that lawfully I could drive!


Luckily for me I didn't go and buy a car and start driving because I wanted to have my licence in my hand first, which was just as well as I could have wasted a hell of a lot of money had I listened to advice given over phone.


What I would like to know, is it lawful what they are doing?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The short answer is that it is lawful.

They conducted a medical examination upon the issue of whether you were fit to drive and they discovered the misuse of prohibited substances. That renders you unfit to drive. There is no way around it.

I know that consumption of recreational drugs have become widespread in the UK but they are unlawful and they are an issue for the DVLA and the plain fact here is that you were caught. The fact that many other people are doing it too does not give you a defence or a point to challenge the views of the DVLA.

Its very unlikely that other medications would have influenced the result. They will be searching for prohibited substances. That said, you can lose your licence if you are receiving prescribed drugs that affect your ability to drive but thats not the position here.

Of course, you can always appeal their decision but in answer to your question of whether or not their action is law I'm afraid that it is.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As you said, a lot of people use recreational drugs these days, but how many are aware their licence is in jeopardy should they find their self having to take a DVLA medical?


I'm pretty damn sure very few, if any at all realise this may be an issue!


I would bet that many people would not even be aware of all the problems one faces after a drink driving conviction.


I know it's not a clever thing to do (I wasn't even driving...was sleeping in car), but can't help thinking, if all the negative aspects of drink/drug driving were made known to the public, then it might go some way to reducing this offence!


Why is this not publicised more?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, they may not be but that is for them to investigate.

I'm really sorry and I wish I could say something else but I am not able to agree that it is not fairly widely publised in the UK that misuse of alcohol and drugs places your driving licence at risk.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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