Convicted Driver Insurance Quotes

Review of the Rehabilitation Course

#1
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 :rolleyes:). 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 :rolleyes:

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! :D. 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 :p
 
#2
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 :p
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 :D
 
#3
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.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#4
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
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.
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 :p
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#6
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
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
This is very interesting that is so different from other's experiences. Maybe different companies operate differently?
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? :rolleyes:

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.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#9
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
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
 
#11
I am quite amased that some people are saying the course is great !! :confused:

I guess it comes down to the instructor/teacher but I have done day 1 of the 3 day course and quite honestly I feel like I am being persecuted! I have been given a drink diary to keep so it means I am basically a suspected alcoholic and apparently because of some of things I have said I am not "taking responsibility" for what I did!...

I'll do it for the 3 months off my 12 month ban but that is about it. It is just another punishment with a fine.

I recommend possibly doing it towards the end of your ban as I was only banned 6 weeks ago and it is still a little fresh in my mind i.e. I want to forget about it and move on but the course isn't helping ! :D :(

At the end of this I may find out I am actually an alcoholic criminal, at least that is what they seem to be trying to convince me I am.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#12
My course in November will be almost half way through my 13-month ban, and I'm looking forward to having got it out of the way and knowing for sure that my ban reduction is in place. I wish I'd got to do mine at the start of my ban rather than waiting for it, although the upside has been that I've had plenty of time to pay for it.
 

signman

Well-known member
#13
the post below is from one i posted back in May.......thought it might help on this thread.

On the whole so far i`m finding it quite informative in regard to what drinks have what units etc.. and how long it takes for the body to eliminate those units.

BUT....when the guy leading the course started it by saying that he was an ex-cop and he was also guilty of drink driving whilst a serving officer but had never been caught...i didn`t know wether to laugh or call him a hypocritical ****!

my course is half full with people who seem genuinley remorseful and the other half with people who think having a couple of cans of stella in the morning is the only way to make their head "straight". Imbeciles.

i don`t like the course tutor because hes always to busy trying to get you to interact with other people rather than just doing what he`s there for which is to give us facts and figures so we can learn from our mistake. Why on earth would i want to share details about me with common as muck imbeciles that are on my course??

The course, i believe, has the potential to be good and prevent serious people from re-offending but also is just a way for others to brag how much they can drink before collapsing in a coma.

Some of the scrotes didn`t even now what date they had been charged or what reading they gave............in my opinion they just didn`t care.
 
#14
I am quite amased that some people are saying the course is great !! :confused:
It surprised me too. Makes me wonder how they can allow for courses to vary so much!

I guess it comes down to the instructor/teacher but I have done day 1 of the 3 day course and quite honestly I feel like I am being persecuted! I have been given a drink diary to keep so it means I am basically a suspected alcoholic and apparently because of some of things I have said I am not "taking responsibility" for what I did!...
I agree the drink diary seems to be for identifying you as an alcoholic in front of the group. We were made to read out our totals and then questioned about the specifics of what we had drunk that week. I fail to see how this has any proactive benefits. WHICH IS WHY I recommend you tell the tutor that you have given up booze.


I recommend possibly doing it towards the end of your ban as I was only banned 6 weeks ago and it is still a little fresh in my mind i.e. I want to forget about it and move on but the course isn't helping ! :D :(
On the flip side to this is, after 6/9 months since the ban, would you really want to bring up all those bad memories? I guess we are all different. All I know is now that I am about a week away from getting my licence back, I'm glad I did it earlier.

At the end of this I may find out I am actually an alcoholic criminal, at least that is what they seem to be trying to convince me I am.
Haha! People who haven't done the course yet won't realise how right you are Tex.

Good luck with the remaining sessions Tex. I wish I could say it gets better. No clock watching!!!!!
 
#15
WHICH IS WHY I recommend you tell the tutor that you have given up booze.
I wouldn't do that cos some of the more hardcore looking drinker type guys went for that option and the course leader person was like "Okay, so write down what you used to drink when you were drinking please!". I learnt the best thing to do is just write down "normal" drinking figures. Thursday - 2 pints normal beer with a mate at my local - 4 units, Saturday - leaving do 3 pints with mates - 6 units. 10 units for the week done and dusted and the lecturer can't argue with you. So you look kinda good that you are participating so no friction there and your don't look too boozy! :D

On the flip side to this is, after 6/9 months since the ban, would you really want to bring up all those bad memories? I guess we are all different. All I know is now that I am about a week away from getting my licence back, I'm glad I did it earlier.
Yeah, you have a point there but I guess this whole thing has been a little hard on me, me missus etc... after each one of these "rehab" days I find myself still pissed off about the whole thing. Nothing one can do I guess...

Good luck with the remaining sessions Tex. I wish I could say it gets better. No clock watching!!!!!
Well session 2 is done and dusted ! :cool: Strangely it wasn't as bad as session 1 probably because my spirit is broken and I have adopted the "yes sir, no sir" approach!

The interaction is a bit stupid as you are constantly forced to work in groups but we actually have an alright bunch of lads. Lots of laughter and the class hero is a guy who blew 132 or something crazy! :D I know it is supposed to be a serious thing but thankfully no one did kill anyone and I guess everyone makes a stupid mistake now and then. My "nicked on a white vespa" also tends to cause laughter ! :( A person really does constantly live and learn...

One more session to go. :)
 
#16
I think it depends a lot on who is delvering the course. Although all providers are governed by DOE/DfT and so the content has to be the same, the way that a course is delivered and the personality of the trainer is key to its success.

I found the information really interesting in general but also saw that a lot of people found things out that were really important but that no-one - courts, solicitors, police etc had told them. For example, 2 people did not know they were in the HRO category which would have been a shock to them at the point of application. The HROs were given a copy of the medical forms which the doctor would use which gave them a bit of an insight and took some of the fear out of it.

I'm in NI and we have to resit the Driving Test here - several people were really shocked to find that out. Again, better knowing that in advance. Also, the practical attention to the Highway Code and driving rules were useful to us because of the need to redo the test.

Also, at no point were we told that we would definitely get a better insurance deal but that we may and the booklet we were given had details of about 6 insurers who may give a better quote.

So, hopefully you've read this far and not given up after the negative responses at the start.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#17
I did my first day of the three-day course on Saturday. I'll wait until I've finished the whole course before posting my review, but to begin with I'll just say that so far it's not as bad as I thought it might be. I hope my opinion doesn't change too much over the next couple of weeks.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
#18
As promised, here are my thoughts on the Drink Drive Rehab course, which I finished on Saturday.

I was very lucky compared to others I’ve read here, because a course runs in my home town about 25 minutes walk from my front door. It was also run on Saturdays so I didn't have to miss any time from work. The facilities at the place they use are good and the course was delivered in a modern room in which about 10 of us were sitting around a large table.

We had a mixed group of people from different walks of life and with different views on various things from politics to drink driving itself. About half men and half women. Overall they were a pleasant bunch and by the end of the three days a lot of us were very chatty and having a bit of a laugh when time allowed.

The course was given by a charity who also run courses for alcoholics, and there was a lot of emphasis on the medical side of what alcohol does once it’s in our bodies. This was pretty interesting stuff and dispelled a few popular myths, as well as introducing the idea of units, how long alcohol affects a person for and how you can calculate how many units are in any given drink. All handy stuff to know especially with the risk of being caught for drink driving the morning after drinking.

I would have to say though that there were times, especially in the first couple of weeks, where it felt like we were being treated as alcoholics. We were shown excerpts from BBC documentaries about binge drinking, including the standard footage of Saturday night in a town centre with fights, people falling over and young women behaving in an unladylike fashion through drink.

It felt like this stuff was in the course as filler. To be fair, the guy did keep stressing that this wasn’t a “stop drinking course” and that he enjoyed a drink himself. He also mentioned a few times that the content of the course is set out by the Department of Transport and that nobody was trying to say we had a drink problem. But those who have already been through the course may recognise the feeling that one is being treated as a dependent drinker rather than someone who made a mistake.

The final day was a bit harrowing. The standard response I got from people when I told them that I was going on this course was that “they’ll show you pictures of car crash victims to frighten you”. I thought that sounded silly but I was wrong. They did show us some very graphic and disturbing photos, mainly of non-drink drivers who had been in an accident with a drink driver. Real horror film stuff, all the more disturbing because it’s real.

Our course was given by an ex-fireman, and there were one or two fire safety bits in the course which felt like they were his personal additions. A video of a Christmas tree burning because of an electrical fire seemed an odd feature of a course on drink driving, but there were only a couple of elements like this and I suppose it could be argued that fire safety is something that goes to pot when people are drunk.

We did have drink diaries to complete, but the tutor never looked at them and we kept them at the end of the course. The purpose of these diaries is to demonstrate that you know how to calculate units and how long it takes until the alcohol is out of your system. It's in no way any kind of monitor. In fact the tutor told us that if we didn't drink anything all week, we should still make up three examples just to show that we can do the calculations.

On the whole I quite enjoyed the course, feel like I got some interesting information out of it, and am glad that I was offered it by the magistrates. Of course, one of the main reasons for taking the course in the first place is to get back behind the wheel sooner, and it feels good that I can relax in the knowledge that my ban reduction is in place.
 

jean

New member
#19
I think it depends a lot on who is delvering the course. Although all providers are governed by DOE/DfT and so the content has to be the same, the way that a course is delivered and the personality of the trainer is key to its success.

I found the information really interesting in general but also saw that a lot of people found things out that were really important but that no-one - courts, solicitors, police etc had told them. For example, 2 people did not know they were in the HRO category which would have been a shock to them at the point of application. The HROs were given a copy of the medical forms which the doctor would use which gave them a bit of an insight and took some of the fear out of it.

I'm in NI and we have to resit the Driving Test here - several people were really shocked to find that out. Again, better knowing that in advance. Also, the practical attention to the Highway Code and driving rules were useful to us because of the need to redo the test.

Also, at no point were we told that we would definitely get a better insurance deal but that we may and the booklet we were given had details of about 6 insurers who may give a better quote.

So, hopefully you've read this far and not given up after the negative responses at the start.
Hi very interesting post do you have the names of the 6 insurers that you were given that apparently could give one a better quote than anyone else.Want to check them out,as I am still considering doing the course.£195 to get my licence back in November rather than March.Can't afford a car in November anyway but am willing to do the course if i can see that my insurance won't be a s high. Thanks
 
#20
The course itself I found quite enjoyable, this is mainly down to the course Administrators, they made me feel welcomed and are very non-judgemental.

Nothing is perfect though their is one person on the course that loves the sound of his voice and does not allow anyone to speak... a couple of us have formed a pact and share the same views.

The course is quite fun, with some quizzes to do, group work such as discussing the magistrates sentencing for different drink drive cases, it's very much open discussion with the group and time goes by very fast if you just join in and say your piece.

My final day is tomorrow the 16th December where we have to fill out our storyboard to the events leading to being arrested... this bit is a little harrowing as I don't really want to discuss my plight with strangers, however it must be done so would do my best to get through it without looking like a twonk.

After that, I think it's plain sailing... let me know if you would like me to post what the final day is like?

Overall it's down to the administrators you get; I have been lucky that we have had quite a good bunch of lad's and two ladies, but mainly it is down to the administrators that create a good up lifting atmosphere. The exception being of one person that wants to be the center of attention and talk for Britain.

Anyway only one day left and it's finished...
 
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