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Thread: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

  1. #1
    Doggy is offline Member
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    Default Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    WHAT IS THIS POST FOR?

    When I found out about the drink driving rehabilitation course, I searched the web for reviews in order to find out what the course is REALLY like (not like the glowing reviews on their website ). Whilst I found some insightful posts from users on this site, I never found an all encompassing review. Since I've done it all, I feel it's good karma to repay and hopefully give you the opportunity I never had.

    A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME

    I was one of the unfortunate/stupid/chaotic drivers who was caught over the limit. Upsetting, embarrassing & debilitating are a few of the words I would use to describe how I felt (and still feel) about what I have done. . I received a 12 month ban & £500 fine. AT THE TIME OF WRITING, I have 3 months left of my ban. I got 3 months knocked off due to completing the DDRC.

    THE COURSE I ATTEND WAS -

    £150 - www.vmcl.com for details.

    One class a week for 3 weeks. 9 till 3 each day.

    THIS REVIEW IS DIFFERENT

    I don't intend to review each day with course topics. That's pointless and is already on the website. I will address areas of importance that are worth knowing from my experience (with a bit of colour to spice things up).

    A COUPLE OF MY WORRIES PRIOR TO ATTENDING
    Below were some of my concerns before attending this course -
    • The possiblity of being made to feel even worse about my conviction (Possible kick a man when he's down attitude)
    • The chance it was going to be a waste of time/money


    So, without further ado, my course 'highlights'

    1. TELL ME WHAT YOU DID WRONG
    Firstly, not long into day one, you will be asked to explain what happened on the day/night of you being caught. It reminded me of story-time from school, some embellish it into quite a tale, others (like myself) preferred to be as vague as possible. A couple of attendees answered "I can't remember, I woke up in the police station". On reflection, it turns out those are the best kind of answers to give.

    BUT WHY? I THOUGHT THE COURSE TUTOR WOULD BE NON-JUDGEMENTAL?

    It wasn't about being judged, it was the probing I was uncomfortable with. Rather than just saying your piece, my particular course tutor liked to ask questions...get the gory details etc. Then over the course of the day, he'd reveal stories he had heard previously. It was difficult to get away from the fact that our 'stories' would probably be used by him in his next course.

    2. GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOUR
    You will find yourself doing lots of paired and group work throughout the days. Basically answering questions on sheets handed out. From what I can remember, such questions are -
    • Maths to work out units in different drinks
    • Your opinions on the current drink drive laws/suggested changes etc


    3. THE CLOCK TICKS...AND TICKS
    One thing that will become apparent is how slow the course content is delivered. After discussing with attendees, we were of an almost unanimous decision that the entire 3 days could have been covered in a single day, without skimming over anything. I don't know if it's the illusion that "a longer course must mean a more valuable course" or we want to feel "we got our money's worth"...either way it wasn't an efficient use of time.

    4. CAN THE ALCOHOLICS IN THE ROOM STAND UP
    Part of the course involves keeping a drink diary, remembering the amount of alcohol you consume in the week. This part did just seem like mental masturbation on the part of the course tutor. He had a good chuckle at the guy who announced having consumed over 200 units that week. It didn't actually achieve anything. My advice - Say you have quit drink, thus 0 units. You get to avoid the interrogation

    5. OBVIOUSLY CONVICTED DRINK DRIVERS DON'T KNOW THE MOST BASIC OF ROAD SIGNS
    I mentioned earlier, the course is stretched far longer than needed. Much of the content covers "driving tips". In fact, close to an hour was spent covering the Mirror Signal Position Speed Look which every learner driver understands 3 lessons into learning how to drive. Also, not forgetting handy tips like "What shape is a stop sign". Again, I feel this was most pointless.

    6. "WILL ATTENDING THIS COURSE REDUCE MY INSURANCE COSTS?" "UM, IT IS UNLIKELY"
    The last hour or so was reserved for discussing "life after the ban ends". I was keen to hear about this as one of my main motivations was to see it make any improvement on the cost of my insurance. The tutor summed it up in about 5 seconds "It will make little difference to your insurance having completed this course".

    WAYHEEYYY! . So their website says one thing...and the tutors say another.

    7. THE REST.....
    There is very little else to add. The course took many hours, and it was very much filler.


    SUMMERY

    PROS
    • Gives you an insight into the hazards of drink driving (just in case you were thinking about doing it again)
    • Your maths skills get a work out
    • You get tea and buiscits at the breaks

    CONS
    • Doesn't influence your insurance costs
    • Often time is spent on unrelated issues
    • Course is stretched far too long for the content delivered
    • Sometimes at the mercy of a tutor who wants the details of your ban


    Summary

    If it sounds like I've skimmed over things, I really haven't. Anything of real significance has been mentioned. It is a bare essentials course.

    If I knew then what I know now...would I have still done it?

    It's really downto 1 question - Is the course cost Worth the time off your ban? Don't consider insurance, it doesn't help. Those months you get deducted vs the course fees. That should be your only consideration.

    Personally, I would have not done it. I feel a little saddened that I parted with that £150. It's not because that is a mighty sum, it's the principle. It would be more suitable for the court to just add the additional cost onto your fine rather than mask it behind this "positive & fulfilling" course that is supposed to work wonders. I was remorseful about my mistake, and they see that as a chance to grab an extra £150/170.

    -------

    I hope that has given you some food for thought.

    Another unanimous decision amongst the attendees I was chatting with was this course serves as an additional punishment to the fine and ban. After some serious consideration, that sums it up very accurately.

    Feel free to ask questions. If you have signed up for the course, good luck, and DON'T CLOCK-WATCH


  2. #2
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    Talking Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Doggy View Post
    Another unanimous decision amongst the attendees I was chatting with was this course serves as an additional punishment to the fine and ban. After some serious consideration, that sums it up very accurately.

    Feel free to ask questions. If you have signed up for the course, good luck, and DON'T CLOCK-WATCH
    This review of the course sums it up brilliantly!! The main thing I took away from the course was just how long alcohol actually can stay in your system for. I will be very careful about driving the day/morning after the night before from now on!!

    I agree, if it wasnt for all the 'fluff' trying to fill up the days, all information could be delivered in a day at the most. It is like an addittional punishment in some respects. It kind of reminded me of the feeling I get when I have been to the pictures to watch a film which is rather long and also turns out to be compltele rubbish. Fidgeting, disinterest, numb bum, numb brain and looking at your watch every 10 minutes wishing it would just hurry up and finish so you can escape the tedium.

    If it wasnt for the fact my ban was reduced then I would have said it was a complete waste of time and money. However, it was worth it to get time knocked off my ban and my driving licence back earlier than I would have done if I hadnt completed the course.

    And I defy anyone not to clock watch! Impossible methinks

  3. #3
    knotty470 is offline New Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Fantastic review mate, very informative. I have my first course tomorrow night and was a bit worried about it.

    I was hoping there would be no group work or roleplaying as i dislike that sort of thing and i really don't see how it could be useful.

    Anyway, once i've completed the course i'll post up review like yours as, like you, i've been searching for an honest opinion from a participant.

  4. #4
    new_pedestrian is offline Established Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Thanks for this thread, I've been trying to find just that kind of review ever since I was in court. People who know nothing about it all seem to be interested in talking about how "they show you pictures of car crash victims" but they never seem able to tell me where they got that information from.

    As an aside about such armchair expertise, I had a conversation with a family member not long after being in court about what he thought was a "back calculation". His explanation was that it was based on taking your blood alcohol readings days later and calculating what it was at the time of arrest. I couldn't get him to admit that it was in fact a "BAC calculation" that he'd heard about and he was making the rest of it up.

    Anyway, back on topic. I'm not really looking forward to my course in November, especially not now after reading that a lot of it may just be filler and teaching us about road signs. We weren't convicted of not knowing what road signs mean, were we?!

    Fair enough if they aim the course at the understanding level of the lowest level of intelligence I suppose, since the people in the room must be from all walks of life and all abilities. Let's face it, we've all qualified to be on the course in the first place by being a bunch of stupid idiots. It's just that I can see myself getting bored quite quickly.

    I'm pinning my hopes on the other people on the course being a great bunch of people and that we all end up going for a curry together at the end of it. Maybe I'll sit next to a gorgeous woman and end up finding the love of my life, thus making the whole thing since getting in the car that fateful night worthwhile?

    Maybe not. At least it's only three days. Thanks again for the review, I'll try my best to remember to post one as well after my course.

  5. #5
    Doggy is offline Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Thanks for the comments. Also it would be good to hear from others who have recently finished the course. Sometimes I wonder how much is down to content vs the actual tutor delivering it.
    Quote Originally Posted by new_pedestrian View Post
    People who know nothing about it all seem to be interested in talking about how "they show you pictures of car crash victims" but they never seem able to tell me where they got that information from.
    Oh! That reminds me. On one of the days the tutor handed out a short A4 booklet with a series of pictures. He explained it was from an advert banned from television. NOTE - He did say the course wasn't about shocking you, and you are welcome not to look through the booklet (and only 5 minutes was spent on this section). It contains about 2 or 3 pictures of a Before & After of a poor girl who was hit by a drunk driver and had most of her skin burnt off. What a mess!

    It sounds a little morbid, but that booklet certainly was more interesting than anything else on the course. If you are of a nervous disposition, don't worry about it, hardly any time at all is spent viewing it (so little in fact, I had forgotten about it!).

    To you guys starting the course soon, I wish you as much positivity as possible. I do believe some people enjoy the course more than others. Like they say, when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. Maybe you will be better at that than me

  6. #6
    new_pedestrian is offline Established Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Ah, maybe some of the armchair experts were right after all then!

    Hey, if I come out of the course armed with a new ability to make lemonade, that's good enough for me.

  7. #7
    abacus62 is offline New Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Hi,

    Having recently read the thread above and very recently attended the course, as requested in one of the above posts I would like to inform you of how things are done differently now, and give a small insight into my experience on a DDRC. I among many other users of this forum have been caught drink driving, I share your feelings.

    I was offered an option to do this course which would take my ban to an even 12 months. Having read only some small detail(not this forum) I didnt really know what to expect on my first day, I had no knowlege of the format of the days, all I knew was that three days, on three seperate weeks that I had to attend in order to qualify for a reduction in my ban.

    I was suprised to read alot of negative comments posted on this forum as my first day; on arriving I was greeted by a very friendly course facilitator who made the group (about 9 of us) feel very welcome, very soon using easy techniques and basical people skills. I didnt find him at all intrusive or infact asking alot of initial questions, he certainly wasnt interested in all the gory details. The primary reason for this was he had done his homework, knew what we had all done, our offenses, how long our ban was and important information about how out cases had been handled and what had happened in court. In my eyes, this was brilliant as I didnt have to say anything to him that anyone else would hear, as he already knew.

    Did I mind that he found out all my information? No, he could of come along on the day of my court hearing and observed. On our first day we basically got to know one another, did a few easy ice breaker activities which like I said were basic skills, but very effective. This was all aided by the facilitators friendly banter, and poor jokes which made the whole thing funny.

    To sum up three days worth of activities:
    • Drinking and your health
    • Working out how many units of alcohol are in various measures
    • How will this impact others
    • Scientific facts about drinking and your body
    • Recover time from drinking alcohol
    • Real stories of people who have been affected
    At the end of my three days what have I taken away with me? Well many things, to start with I enjoyed the company of all three facilitators which attended on different days, none of which were rude and all do a very good job. I didnt know how to work out how units etc, which is a little handy if I ever intended to drink while with the car(which I dont). I enjoyed my experience there, I got to talk to like minded individuals with the same offense and you realise that its not that bad, youve made a mistake and now you can work at making a difference in your life by not doing it again.

    Thank you to the guys who have given the course, 10 out of 10 I would highly reccomend it to anyone, however £150 is a little steep!

    Lee

  8. #8
    Doggy is offline Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    This is very interesting that is so different from other's experiences. Maybe different companies operate differently?
    Quote Originally Posted by abacus62 View Post
    he certainly wasnt interested in all the gory details. The primary reason for this was he had done his homework, knew what we had all done, our offenses, how long our ban was and important information about how out cases had been handled and what had happened in court. In my eyes, this was brilliant as I didnt have to say anything to him that anyone else would hear, as he already knew.
    Like I said this was certainly different to my exprience. The instructor didn't have the details (or at least never told us he did) a few people lied about what had happened to them in order not to face the grilling (I found out this was the case whilst having lunch with them later).

    I can't imagine there has been a complete overhaul of them all in such a short space of time, and would assume you must of had a different course provider from me (and user coursecomplete). Mines was VMCL. When you go onto their website they actually still have the nads to put this -

    an increasing number of insurance companies now recognise the benefits of the Drink Drive Scheme and will offer discounts, providing you send them a photocopy of your Completion Certificate. We will provide you with details of insurance companies and brokers offering discounts when we send your Completion Certificate to you.
    I certainly didn't receive anything of the sort with my completion certificate. Also our instrutor told us doing the course will make little difference to insurance premiums. Would this be misinformation or blatant lying?

    abacus62, I'd be keen to hear who was your provider and see other people's experiences. It could be that certain course providers are worth avoiding.

  9. #9
    new_pedestrian is offline Established Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    It's a shame there's no way to find out which courses are good ones and which aren't.

    Three days on a bad course still sounds like a reasonable price to pay for a quarter of my ban being knocked off. However, I'd like to feel like I'd learned something though rather than just having sat through it as a formality to get back behind the wheel sooner.

    I'm paying £220 for my course (which I'm doing in November) and I'd like to think of that as payment for a quality course and not just another fine.

  10. #10
    abacus62 is offline New Member
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    Default Re: Review of the Rehabilitation Course

    Convicted Driver Insurance Quotes
    Hi,

    I agree it is very interesting how they seem to vary with different providers however the course facilitator had all the information, and like I said with his people/presentation skills, managed to deliver the course as if we were talking casually without reading from a book, it all came very natural.

    The course provider is Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, however I am sure the facilitator had told us that they had been given course guidlines and what they must cover from the Dft (department for transport), as they could be assesed deliverying a course.

    Lea

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