DSA launches consultation to ‘modernise’ drink drive rehabilitation courses

10.45 | 11 November 2011 | | 1 comment

The DSA has launched an online consultation as part of a process to modernise the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).

The proposals in the consultation, titled: ‘New Approval Arrangements for Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Courses’, aim to improve both the standard of courses offered to drink-driving offenders and the way they are approved.

The proposals are also intended to encourage more training providers to become involved in delivering DDRS courses, thereby improving access to the scheme for offenders in areas with high incidences of drink-driving.

The Government also intends to make the financing of the scheme fairer: Rather than the cost of administering the scheme being met by the general taxpayer, the consultation proposes that offenders should pick up the bill for this through the fees they pay to cover the cost of their training.

The overall aim is to reduce the number of re-offenders by educating them on the potential consequences of their behaviour.

Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “Most drivers are safe and responsible but there is a reckless minority who put lives in danger by drink driving and those drivers need to be tackled effectively.

“As well as taking action to help the police to deal with drink drivers, we are looking at how we can reduce the likelihood of re-offending through improving the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme.

“Improving the way courses are delivered is a positive step towards achieving this and will help to ensure Britain’s roads remain among the safest in the world.”

The Government’s Strategic Framework for Road Safety sets out a commitment to improve the enforcement of drink driving legislation by making DDRS courses mandatory for disqualified drink-drivers. The measures proposed in the consultation are the first step in that process.

Click here to download the consultation.


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    As a DDRS course trainer, I have a fairly good idea as to the positive impact of the course on convicted drivers. Whilst there are exceptions, what constantly emerges through participant reflection is the notion of, “If only I knew then what I know now”!

    The course content focuses on a range of issues including raising alcohol/drug awareness and its potential impact on the ‘motor skills’ required for riding/driving. Whilst all of the essential content is available through various sources and forums, what is apparent is the participants complete lack of this knowledge, which is probably a fairly accurate reflection of the wider public. Whilst reviewing and improving the DDRS content is very positive, the DSA also needs to consider reviewing the educational element from a preventative perspective, starting with the schools curriculam and the driving theory test, specifically around ABV, Units and the way in which alcohol and drugs (illicit, prescribed and over the counter) undermine riding/driving ability!

    It appears from the declining number of drink drive convictions, that either there are fewer drivers ‘taking a chance’, or perhaps more simply that the police enforcement capability has been undermined. I don’t profess to know the answer, but for the purpose of the review a wider understanding of all aspects of drink driving would seem to be essential.

    Alan – Cheshire
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