Short says the rules here in the Cook Islands are strict, with drivers caught drinking and driving immediately disqualified for 12 months.
But, he says it is possible for disqualified drivers to get a partial driver’s licence for work and related matters only, once they have served at least six months.
Short says not many people know about the partial licence, and so they place the added burden on their family to get them to and from their jobs for longer than necessary.
A partial license will not be granted by the court to drive for activities outside of work, so any application must be work related.
Short says this is often from 6am to fi ve pm every week with variations for weekend work.
He says this also varies depending on the requirements for the applicant’s job including shift work at the airport or part time work as a performer.
In order to request a partial license, applicants must obtain a letter from their employer requesting approval from the court for the hours of work required.
“Many people other than those that have been convicted for driving when under the influence of alcohol are affected by the disqualification sentence,” Short says.
This is because those who are disqualified from driving rely on their families or partners to drive them for work purposes, and Short says this puts more pressure on them when they weren't the ones that lost their drivers licence to drive.
“In addition, the people driving have their own jobs and work responsibilities so they are usually the ones that suffer.”
Anyone wanting to apply for a partial licence should contact the Police Prosecution Office on 22499 and they will advise applicants what they will need to do in order to apply.