Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wales must not be left out of Drink Drive Rehabilitation Schemes

Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, Peter Black has raised concerns that convicted drink drivers will have to go to England for Drink Drive Rehabilitation courses unless Ministers introduce legislation in the Welsh Assembly within the next few months.

Mr. Black has written to the Minister for Local Government, Transport and Communities asking him to commit to legislation for a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme in Wales. Courses provide offenders with important insight into their behaviour and strategies to avoid drink driving in future and are often included as part of sentencing in the courts. Responsibility for such schemes will be passed from the Department for Transport to the Welsh Assembly in October 2012. To ensure that there is a seamless continuance in service from Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme course providers it is vital that legislation is passed by the Welsh Government before approval of existing course providers is revoked in the autumn. This is vital too, so as to protect jobs in Wales associated with these courses.

Mr. Black said: “There are a number of organisations across the UK who provide courses that drink drive offenders can be referred onto by the courts. These courses provide offenders with the ability to gain an insight into their behaviour and offer strategies to avoid drink driving in the future. It also means that their driving ban can be reduced on attendance of the course.

“As the responsibility for the administration of this scheme has been devolved to the National Assembly for Wales I am advised that separate legislation will have to be introduced by the Welsh Government if there is to be a DDRS in Wales.

“I have asked Carl Sargeant to confirm what plans the Welsh Government has to introduce this legislation in time for the revocation of approval for course providers in October.”
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