The course aim is to help people separate their drinking from their driving in the
future through education about alcohol and its effects. Each group contains on
average 14 people. Drink-drive courses are monitored at a national level by
the Transport Research Laboratory. Their research shows that people who
have successfully completed a course are almost three times less likely to
re-offend than those who do not attend a course.
The 18-hour Course Consists of Either:
8 x 2¼ hour sessions held once a week for eight consecutive weeks,
or 4 x 4½ hour sessions held once a week for four
consecutive weeks. There are some limited weekend options.
Courses are run at a variety of venues, in order to allow participants to attend
a course within reasonable distance of their home or work, and with good
public transport access. These currently include Central Birmingham, Brierley
Hill, West Bromwich, Solihull, Chelmsley Wood and Sutton Coldfield.
Wherever possible we use venues that provide access for people with
disabilities. Please note that the course is only delivered in English.
Specific details for each venue are available on request.
In addition to any fine and disqualification of 12 months or more, Magistrates are able to offer the option to attend an Aquarius DRIVE course which on successful
completion, entitles the defendant to a reduction of up to 25% in the period of disqualification. In the case of a one year ban the reduction will be 3 months.
Magistrates can decide the length of a reduction for longer periods of disqualification (subject to a 25% maximum).
The DRIVE course is intended mainly, but not exclusively, for those defendants whose offence is not serious enough to warrant a supervised community sentence
or imprisonment. It is designed to provide a voluntary, educational contribution to the prevention of reoffending. The DRIVE course is not intended to replace
or overlap with existing Probation-led groups, which will continue to be available as a condition of a Probation Order.
It is for Magistrates to offer the DRIVE course. The defendant must then accept or decline the offer immediately and without adjournment. An acceptance will be
referred to Aquarius who will then contact the person directly.
Once offered, it will be for the defendant to decide whether or not to accept the DRIVE course. The fee will be payable by him/her in advance of the course start
date (instalments can be accepted, by arrangement with the course organiser).
In order to complete the course and thus qualify for the period of reduction, participants will be required to attend every session on time and in a sober condition.
Disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated and participants will be expected to complete several home assignments between sessions and to engage actively within sessions.
Failure to comply with any of the above will result in a Notice of Non-completion in which case the person concerned will not qualify for the reduction in their ban.
On successful completion participant will be issued with a certificate to present to the court who will, in turn, notify the DVLA of the reduced disqualification period.
The course needs to be completed and DVLA notified of the reduction at least eight weeks before the end of any reduced period of disqualification so that their
records may be amended and the licence re-issued.
Should a participant not complete the course s/he will be issued with a notice of non-completion by Aquarius. S/he has the right to appeal to the Court within
28 days from the date of the course completion as specified in the Court Referral Order, if s/he feels that they have been unfairly treated. The Court may, or
may not, then issue a declaration which has the same effect as a Certificate of Completion.