Drink Impaired Drivers' Programme

What is it?

Drink Impaired Drivers Programme or DIDs is a nationally accredited programme which aims to confront offenders with issues related to drinking and driving. Drink-impaired drivers account for a significant proportion of road fatalities. This programme helps offenders acknowledge the consequences of drink-driving and aims to teach them new skills to:

  • Avoid drinking and driving
  • Increase their knowledge of alcohol and its effects
  • Plan effectively
  • Control their thoughts, feelings and actions
  • Promote safe driving

Who is it suitable for?

DIDs is suitable for men and women aged 18 and over who have committed two or more offences and first time offenders if the offence is aggravated, eg with a high blood alcohol level or involving an accident.

First-time drink drivers and those who have committed five or more drink-drive offences are unsuitable for this programme. Case managers will not recommend a DIDs programme unless the offender is sufficiently motivated to change.

What does the programme involve?

DIDs runs for between 14 and 16 weekly two-hour group sessions. There are also pre- and post-group sessions including psychometric tests.

It tackles the way drink drivers think and behave and works with them to

  • Increase their knowledge of the effects of alcohol
  • Encourage a constructive change in attitude towards the use of alcohol
  • Encourage positive change in patterns of drinking and related behaviour
  • Encourage awareness of ways to resist pressure to drink more
  • Recognise the implications of drinking on themselves and others, particularly potential victims of road accidents
  • Improve understanding of the drink-driving offence and the effect of alcohol on driving skills.   

How is attendance enforced?

Offenders must attend the full programme. The design allows two acceptable failures to attend. These sessions can be caught up individually to allow offenders to rejoin the main group. More than two absences requires the offender to re-start the whole programme. Offenders are allowed a maximum of three attempts to start the programme.

Unacceptable absences are dealt with according to National Standards and will result in the offender being returned to court.