Best practice for avoiding drink-driving for HGV drivers and operator licence holders

As the festive period approaches, we remind operator licence holders and HGV/PSV drivers of their responsibility to prevent drink-driving. Operators should have comprehensive alcohol and drug screening policies dealing with this, but below are a few ‘quick tips’.

  1. We recommend that a ‘zero tolerance’ policy would be appropriate in all cases with random alcohol screening taking place on a random basis across the workforce employed in any capacity in the driving of company vehicles.
  2. It is also strongly recommended that any company disciplinary procedure has the scope to deal with alcohol and drug-related issues as gross misconduct; however, it should also be the case that alcohol or drug dependency should be treated in the same way as other illnesses but would have to include the driver’s cessation of driving duties until a comprehensive assessment of the situation can be made which will include obtaining the correct medical assessments and diagnosis.
  3. All drivers should sign and date their copy of the alcohol and drug screening policy to confirm they have received the document and understand the points contained therein.

Drink-driving penalties

If found guilty of drink-driving, a driver can be imprisoned, banned from driving and face a fine.  The actual penalty is decided by the magistrates who hear the case and depends on the offence. Click here to read more about drink-driving penalties.

Operators and vocational drivers should also be aware that a driver being caught drink-driving (or any other notifiable conviction) may lead the Office of the Traffic Commissioner to call them into public inquiry and/or driver conduct hearing to consider taking action against drivers’ vocational licences and operator licences. As with other notifiable convictions, the Operator needs to notify the Traffic Commissioner within 28 days of any drink-driving convictions.

If you require any assistance with this, please get in touch.