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Drink-drive Rehabilitation Scheme

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 23 February 2012

12. What assessment she has made of the likely effect of proposed changes to the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme. (95960)

The consultation document, “New Approval Arrangements for Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Courses”, published in November 2011, contained an initial impact assessment outlining the costs and benefits of the proposals.

Does the Minister accept that there is real concern among those interested in reducing reoffending, including the Justices’ Clerks’ Society, which provides legal advice to magistrates, that introducing multiple providers in an area will lead to a price-driven race to the bottom, with a consequent impact on reoffending rates? Would not a better solution be to have competitive tendering for a single provider in an area to ensure quality and effectiveness of the services?

This matter has been raised with me privately in the past couple of days by several hon. Members in exactly the way the hon. Gentleman asked his question. I will be looking at the matter. The principle of drink-drive rehabilitation schemes is important. Evidence shows that those who take the schemes are more than two and a half times less likely to reoffend—or at least to be caught reoffending; we do not actually know whether they are reoffending, of course. However, we will consider his point.