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1. What is a Driver Improvement/ Defensive Driving Course?
Driver Improvement is a 6 hour course designed to teach drivers about safe driving attitudes and behaviors.
2. What is the difference between Driver Improvement and Defensive Driving?
There is no difference. Driver Improvement and Defensive Driving are interchangeable terms.
3. Why would I take a Driver Improvement Course?
Driver Improvement courses may be court ordered, taken for points reduction, driver’s license reinstatement, insurance premium reduction, or personal education.
4. What is the difference between Driver’s Education and Driver Improvement?
Driver’s Education is a separate program required for 16-year-olds to obtain their Class D license.
Driver Improvement is a program geared toward safety education for licensed drivers of any age.
5. What is the cost of a Driver Improvement Course?
For license reinstatement or points reduction, clinics must charge $95. For Driver Improvement classes taken for any other reason (i.e. insurance premium reduction, educational purposes), clinics may charge up to $95.
6. Does the Driver Improvement course involve behind the wheel instruction?
No. It is classroom instruction only.
7. How often may I take a Driver Improvement course for points reduction?
In accordance with O.C.G.A §40-5-86, licensed Georgia residents may request that DDS reduce the number of points assessed against their Georgia Driver’s license up to 7 points once every 5 years.
8. I took a Driver Improvement course for license reinstatement. Can I use the same Certificate of Completion for points reduction?
When you submit the Certificate of Completion to a DDS Customer Service Center, you must inform them at that time that you wish to use it for both license reinstatement and points reduction. You will not be allowed to change the reason for using it once it has been submitted to DDS.
9. What will the defensive driving course cover?
- Traffic crash statistics, including times when most crashes occur and age groups with the highest accident rates.
- The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI or DWI).
- The dynamics of a crash. This pertains to how speed, place of impact and size of vehicle affects the severity of the collision.
- An extensive look at safety equipment, addressing the importance of seat belts, head rests, air bags, and child safety seats.
- Crash prevention techniques. This touches on a long list of driving tactics including proper following distances, scanning roadways, sharing the road with other vehicles, proper passing procedures, speed adjustments in different weather conditions, and knowing your vehicle’s braking distance.
- The risks of driving while fatigued, stressed, or angry.
- Georgia state’s traffic laws.
10. Can I take a Driver Improvement course online?
No. DDS does not recognize online Driver Improvement courses for driver’s license related issues. Certificates of completion from online Driver Improvement courses are not accepted by the DDS for any purposes related to an individual’s driver’s license or driving privileges.
11. Will the DDS accept a certificate of completion from a DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction course that I completed online?
No. Certificates of completion from online DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction courses are not accepted by the DDS for any purposes related to an individual’s driver’s license or driving privileges.
12. What is a DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Course?
Currently, the only Intervention Component approved by the DDS for use in the State of Georgia is Prime for Life, which is a copyrighted product of Prevention Research Institute, Inc.
14. Does the DDS accept certificates of completion from DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction courses from other states?
Yes. Provided the out-of-state course substantially conforms to the course standards in Georgia. In determining if an out-of-state course substantially conforms to the course standards in Georgia, the DDS considers whether the course is approved by the state in which it is offered, if it would satisfy the reinstatement requirements of the driver’s licensing authority in that state, and if the course is taken in a group setting. It is recommended that if there is any question as to whether a particular out-of-state program will be accepted by the DDS, the customer contact the DDS Customer Contact Center at (678) 413-8400 or (866) 754-3687 prior to enrollment.
15. How do I know if a particular DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction school has been approved?
A complete list of all DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction schools certified by the DDS can be found here.
16. What is the cost of a DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction course?
The cost of a DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction course is set by law. The total cost of the course is $355.00. This includes the Assessment Component ($100.00), the Intervention Component ($235.00), and a workbook ($20.00).
17. How is Georgia’s Risk Reduction course structured?
Georgia’s risk reduction course is comprised of two components: the Assessment Component and the Intervention Component.
The Assessment Component is completed first. It is a 130-question comprehensive adult assessment instrument used to screen the extent of an individual’s alcohol and drug use and its impact on driving.
The Intervention Component is completed last. It is a 20-hour course comprised of several sessions covering several days and delivered in a group environment. The Intervention Component is designed to offer therapeutic education and peer group counseling about alcohol and drug use and its effect on driving,
Students must complete both the Assessment and Intervention Components to receive a certificate of completion.
18. How long does it take to complete a DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction course?
The time it takes to complete a course depends on a variety of factors; but, in most cases, the entire course can be completed in less than a week. It is best to discuss course schedules and any specific needs or concerns you may have related thereto with the school you choose to attend.
19. What is a NEEDS assessment?
NEEDS is the 130-question comprehensive screening instrument used during the Assessment Component.
20. What are the attendance policies for DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction courses?
All schools have strict attendance policies, which are outlined in the paperwork you sign when you contract with a school to attend one of its courses. You will be expected to arrive on time and to complete each session. Students that arrive late to any session can expect to be denied entry into class and may be required to start the course over again, at full cost. In addition, students that are absent or leave early from any session may be required to start the course over again, at full cost. It is recommended that you consider the course schedule carefully and take into account any potential scheduling conflicts you may have before signing a contract to attend.
21. Can I obtain a refund if I am not able to attend a course or if I am late to, absent from, or leave a session early?
The decision to issue a refund or make alternate arrangements to make up a missed portion of the course is a matter between the student and the school he or she contracts with to take the course. All schools have strict attendance policies, which are outlined in the paperwork a student receives when he or she contracts with a school to attend one of its courses.
22. What is a clinical evaluation?