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VMCL the Alcohol and Drug Education Specialists

Government Legislation

Background to the Scheme

Background to the Scheme

At the end of the 1980s, the Government commissioned a review of UK road traffic laws.  One of the main recommendations of the Review Committee was for a large-scale experiment, using training courses to help drivers who had committed drink driving offences.

The terms of the trial were defined in the 1991 Road Traffic Act, and the experiment started in 1993 in 19 Courts across the UK.  Drivers convicted of drink drive offences could obtain a reduction of up to 25% in their ban, in return for attending a rehabilitation course.

The aim of the course was to provide drink drive offenders with a period of guided reflection, within a group environment, enabling future non-offending behaviour to be developed.

Analysis of the experimental scheme, by the Transport Research Laboratory, showed that those attending courses were nearly 60% less likely to re-offend.  This clear indication of the success of the project resulted in an order, on 31 December 1999, which made the scheme permanent and, at the same time, made it available in all Courts throughout the UK dealing with Drink Drive offences or the appeal resulting from a Drink Drive case Heard at a Lower Court.

The appointment of training providers, and the courses which they run, is administered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The DVSA's role includes:

  • provision of operational guidelines to courts and training providers
  • approval of course providers
  • approval of course structure and content
  • monitoring of courses, including quality of delivery and adherence to guidelines
  • liasing with the Department for Constitutional Affairs, in relation to Court procedures
  • monitoring the Scheme's overall effectiveness

Drink Driving Courses

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