Proposals to modernise the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) were announced today by the Driving Standards Agency.
These 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, 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.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning 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.
The consultation can be found at dft.gov.uk/consultations/dsa-2011-01