Drink Drive Rehab Scheme Undergoes Overhaul | Book Theory Test Today Investigates the Implications
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has revealed improvements to the drink drive rehab scheme (DDRS), Book Theory Test Today understands.
As part of widespread changes the DSA claims that the overhaul will provide more consistent quality standards and a broader availability of courses for drink drive offenders.
The most notable alteration is that the costs accrued for running the DDRS courses will be placed solely on the user rather than being paid for at the taxpayers’ expense.
The purpose of the DDRS course to raise awareness amongst offenders of the problems associated with drink driving and to help them eradicate their behaviour.
Under present UK law the courts have the power to refer drink drive offenders, for a period of 12 months, to an approved DDRS course. Upon successful completion of the course a drink drive offender can decrease the length of a driving disqualification by up to one quarter.
A Book Theory Test Today spokesperson said: “This will be welcome news for the UK taxpayer, as costs will now be placed firmly on attendees of the course, acting as further punishment and deterrence from drink driving.”
In a statement from Stephen Hammond, the Road Safety Minister, he said: “We’re determined to stamp out the menace of drink driving and rehabilitation courses are an extremely effective way of ensuring drivers who have committed the offence of drink driving in the first place do not repeat their error. These changes will make it easier for courts to place offenders on these courses as well as ensuring more consistent standards and shifting the costs from the taxpayer to the offender.”
A statement from DSA Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said: “This scheme increases offenders’ appreciation of the risks involved in their behaviour and the importance of separating driving from their consumption of alcohol.”
He added: “The new measures will enhance the integrity and thus the potential success of the scheme. In turn, the likelihood of offenders re-offending is reduced with all the social and economic benefits that brings.”
Changes to the course are currently undergoing an approvals process which began on the 24th June 2013. The following improvements are understood to be on the agenda:
* The scheme being updated with a prescribed course syllabus consistent with DSA’s national driving standards that set out what is needed to be a safe and responsible driver
* A risk-based quality assurance process to ensure that course providers are consistently delivering courses of the required standard
Administration and quality assurance costs moving from the taxpayer to the offender
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