Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course
(DDRS) Course Providers
If you are due to take or complete the drink driving rehabilitation course, you are also likely to be looking for affordable car insurance for convicted drivers.
The Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course
34A Reduced disqualification period for attendance on courses
- This section applies where—
- a person is convicted of an offence under section 3A (causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs), 4 (driving or being in charge when under influence of drink or drugs), 5 (driving or being in charge with excess alcohol) or 7 (failing to provide a specimen) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and
- the court makes an order [...] disqualifying him for a period of not less than twelve months
- Where this section applies, the court may make an order that the period of disqualification imposed [...] shall be reduced if, by a date specified in the order under this section, the offender satisfactorily completes a course approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section and specified in the order.
- The reduction made by an order under this section in a period of disqualification imposed [...] shall be a period specified in the order of not less than three months and not more than one quarter of the unreduced period (and accordingly where the period imposed [...] is twelve months, the reduced period shall be nine months).
- The court shall not make an order under this section unless—
- it is satisfied that a place on the course specified in the order will be available for the offender,
- the offender appears to the court to be of or over the age of 17,
- the court has explained the effect of the order to the offender in ordinary language, and has informed him of the amount of the fees for the course and of the requirement that he must pay them before beginning the course, and
- the offender has agreed that the order should be made.
- The date specified in an order under this section as the latest date for completion of a course must be at least two months before the last day of the period of disqualification as reduced by the order.
If you have been offered the opportunity to take the drink drive rehabilitation course by the sentencing court and you accept, the sentencing court will notify the relevant course provider by means of a course referral order.
You should subsequently receive a letter from your course provider containing information about the course, a booking form and all relevant course start dates along with the date the court instructed you to complete the course by. This date will be at least 2 months before the last day of the period of disqualification as reduced by taking the course.
You MUST complete the course by this date in order to benefit from a reduction of your driving disqualification.
NOTE: Only people who have been referred to the drink driving rehabilitation course by the court that sentenced them will be able to benefit from a reduction in their driving disqualification upon completing the course. Once a referral order has been made, it is up to the individual as to whether or not they choose to take and complete the course, it is not compulsory they do so. If you are not sure if you were referred onto the course at the time of sentencing then you will need to contact the sentencing court in order to find out.
It is possible to take the drink driving rehabilitation course without a referral from court, however, you will not benefit from a reduction in your driving disqualification by doing so.
Drink Driving Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) - Course Information & Content
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) are responsible for setting the national standard for delivery of The Drink Driving Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) courses.
Courses are delivered by trainers who are usually local people who are committed to educating individuals in order to help reduce the likelihood of re-offending and help change their behaviour in relation to alcohol consumption, driving, road safety and road traffic law.
The course syllabus consists of two units:
- Unit 1: Understanding the impact of alcohol use in relation to driving
- Unit 2: Change alcohol use in relation to driving
The course combines presentations, group exercises, group discussions and videos used in conjunction with a course workbook with various exercises to complete.
The drink driving course is not, currently, formally assessed. This means there will be no formal test(s) that require course participants to achieve a certain score in order to pass. They must, however, attend all sessions of the course (sober) and participate in the course to the best of their ability.
Course participants will also be given information and advice on re-applying for their driving licence, the DVLA medical for participants who are classed as 'high risk offenders' and re-taking their driving test if they are required to do so.
Who can be offered the Opportunity of taking the course?
Motorists convicted of any of the following offences who are disqualified for at least 12 months may be offered the opportunity to take the drink driving rehabilitation course:
- Causing death by careless driving while unfit to drive by being under the influence of drink (contrary to S. 3A(1)(a) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Causing death by careless driving while exceeding the maximum prescribed legal limit (contrary to S. 3A(1)(b) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Driving a motor vehicle while unfit to do so by being under the influence of alcohol (contrary to S. 4 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Being in charge of a motor vehicle while unfit to do so by being under the influence of alcohol (contrary to S. 4 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol (contrary to S. 5(1)(a) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol (contrary to S. 5(1)(b) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Failing to provide a specimen for analysis (contrary to S. 7(6) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
- Failing to allow a specimen to be subject to a laboratory test (contrary to S. 7A(6) of The Road Traffic Act 1988 )
Benefits of Taking and Completing the Course
There are several benefits for convicted drink drivers who take the course, these include:
- A driving disqualification reduction of at least 3 months and up to 25% off the imposed disqualification period upon successful completion of the course
- Information and help to avoid future drink driving related convictions and to become a more responsible & safe driver
- A course completion certificate which may help in securing affordable insurance for convicted drivers
To successfully complete the course
In order to successfully complete the drink driving rehabilitation course, those who attend must:
- Pay the course fee in advance and in full before the start of the course
- Attend all sessions of the course
- Attend the course in a sober condition
- Not drink alcohol before or during the course
- Participate in the course to the best of their ability
Upon completion of the course
Successful completion of the course allows offenders to benefit from a reduction in their driving disqualification. The process upon completion is as follows:
- Course provider issues offender with a course completion certificate
- Course provider sends completion certificate to the sentencing court
- Sentencing court informs the DVLA that offender has successfully completed the course
- The DVLA update their records and award the offender the relevant reduction of their driving disqualification