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Drink Driver Education Programs (NSW)

Drink driver education programs are programs that are designed to inform the public about the risks of driving while intoxicated by alcohol or another drug. These programs can be completed at a person’s own initiative, after a person has been charged with an offence but before they have been sentenced or as part of a sentence imposed by a court.

Drink driver education programs are often completed after a person has been charged with traffic offences in order to show the court that they are taking positive steps to avoid similar offending in the future. Completion of a drink driver education program may – though will not always – result in a more lenient sentence when drink driving charges are finalised.

While most of the programs outlined below usually offer both a face to face and an online program, some of them are currently offering online programs only due to COVID.

Traffic Offenders Intervention Program

The Traffic Offenders Intervention Program (TOIP) is a program about road safety and low-risk driving, which is provided at various locations throughout metropolitan, regional and rural New South Wales. The Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) is the largest provider of the TOIP, which aims to increase understanding of dangerous driving behaviour, provide courts with a rehabilitative sentencing option and create safer roads with fewer traffic offences.

TOIP runs for 12 hours and all sessions and assessments must be satisfactorily completed to successfully complete the program. Session topics include the police force. The accident scene, alcohol and other drugs, crash consequences and the legal system. A session is also devoted to victims of road trauma. This session introduces participants to relatives and friends of those who have been seriously injured or killed in road accidents.

Sober Driver Program

The Sober Driver Program is a program run by the NSW Transport Department. A person is required to complete the Sober Driver Program if they have been found guilty of certain serious drink driving offences and have been given an interlock exemption order (meaning they are not required to take part in the alcohol interlock program).

The Sober Driver Program is a three-week program, consisting of one full day session per week plus two take-home tasks.

The program is designed to help participants to understand the consequences of drink driving for themselves and others, to understand how their offence came about, to create and use strategies to avoid re-offending and to develop skills and positive attitudes to safe driving.

A person required to complete the Sober Driver Program must do so at their own expense.

ASPIRE traffic offender course

The ASPIRE traffic offender course is a two-day course taught by former police officers and educators that covers speeding, drink driving, drug driving, fatigue, mobile phone use and other distractions, vulnerable road users and vehicle maintenance.

The course costs $170.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive a Local Court Report, which can be presented to the court when finalising traffic charges.

Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program

Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program (TORP) is a court-approved road safety program for traffic offenders. Its goal is to reduce the likelihood of participants committing further traffic offences.

TORP is the lead provider of the NSW Traffic Offenders Program and the only online provider of the program. TORP offers two options for completing the program online. These are:

  1. Completing a 90-minute online program and subsequently, attend a Live Stream on a specified date.
  2. Complete the 7-day online program, which consists of being sent a video each day for seven days along with questions to complete.

The program costs $170.

Drink driver education programs – SAVE

The Speed Alcohol Vehicle Education (SAVE) traffic offender intervention program is a local-court based program designed for those who have been charged with traffic offences in New South Wales. Its aim is to equip participants with information, skills and attitudes to achieve safer driving behaviours.

The program costs $165 to complete and can be completed in person or online.

A court assessment can be prepared for the Magistrates Court at a participant’s request.

If you require legal advice or representation in relation to drink driving or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

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