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Old drink off enc must be ignore'

14th November 2002
Page 12
Page 12, 14th November 2002 — Old drink off enc must be ignore'
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HI 1-lauhers who reject job applications from drivers with spent convictions for drink-driving Could end up being sued, a judge has warned.

Mr Justice Maurice Kay says that under the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act there are safeguards, which require that convictions do not count against offenders once they have been spent.

This means that operators would have no legal protection from being sued if they ignored or contravened these safeguards "at the behest of insurers".

Kay's comments came during the case of truck driver Nigel Pearson who has been repeatedly refused work driving trucks because of a one-year ban for drink-driving in 1997.

Kay explains that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Pearson's conviction should be treated as if it had I occurred and he was required to disclose it.

But Pearson's driving lit would continue to shoe offence for a further six under the 1998 Road 1 Offenders Act.

"I see no reason why a birdated drink-driver rem driving job simply by reaso spent conviction should n able to maintain an actio breach of statutory duty," Kay. Mr Pearson has, sinc conviction, trained and law as a heavy goods driver."

A spokesperson for FTA says drivers should fair chance but there e number of issues that ne be considered.

These include whethe company can get insuranc the driver, and the possiblE porate manslaughter laws.


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