Friday, 5 July 2013

Taxpayer will no longer pay for drink-drive rehabilitation scheme

Taxpayer will no longer pay for drink-drive rehabilitation scheme

The Driving Standards Agency has announced changes to the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) to offer more consistent quality standards and wider availability of courses as well as transferring the full cost to the user rather than the taxpayer.

The courses can be offered to offenders who have been disqualified from driving for at least 12 months and aim to educate offenders and address their behaviour to endure repeat offences are avoided.
Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, said: "We are determined to tackle 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."

Previously, the taxpayer picked up the bill for DDRS courses, which upon successful completion can reduce the period of disqualification by up to one quarter.

Driving Standards Agency 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.

"The measures we have announced 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."

In 2012, approximately 45,000 offenders were referred to courses by the courts with nearly 24,000 successful completions.

The changes to the DDRS work alongside the government's other measures to tackle drink-driving such as making, from June 1 this year, the most dangerous drink-drivers pass a medical before they are allowed back on the roads

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