These days, driving infractions are related to a point system. Every infraction affects the number of points a person has and after reaching a certain number of points, driving privileges may be revoked or suspended. Once a driver has enough points to warrant driving privilege issues, such as through a felony or misdemeanor DUI conviction, the individual may be court-ordered to attend a driver improvement clinic. Attending the clinic can help remove or add to some of the points against a person’s driving record, helping to lower insurance costs and make the person a safer driver.
Most of the driver improvement clinics offered last for four or eight hours. In the classes, drivers are taught how to be safe and responsible drivers, as well as defensive driving techniques. These clinics are approved by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent and drivers are often required to provide proof of payment to the DMV before being allowed to attend a class. While most states put a limit on the number of points a person can have removed or added by attending a driver improvement clinic, others allow attendance every twenty-four months or so for regular point maintenance.
While it costs money to attend a clinic, the cost is usually minimal. There are both classroom and online options for driver improvement clinics, making it easier to fulfill responsibilities without too much disruption to regular life. Online versions of the clinics are still timed to make sure the four or eight hour time requirement is met. There are a variety of online driver improvement clinics available and each company providing the clinics has its own way of handling the time issue. Many online clinics will begin your time all over again if you minimize the screen, mute the sound, or perform other activities that show you are not actively engaging the program. Some online clinics allow you to stop your progress at-will and return to the class when you have more time.
Of course, that is more convenient for some people than an actual classroom driving clinic. Both options allow for breaks, but some people learn better in a classroom setting than in front of a computer. Drivers who are younger than twenty-one often have no option but to attend a live classroom version of the driver improvement clinics if they want to meet a court-ordered requirement. When the class is over, the DMV or equivalent department is automatically notified of the driver’s successful completion of the clinic. The driver will also receive a certificate of completion.
Driver improvement clinics exist to help drivers become safer when sitting behind the wheel. We may not be able to control the other drivers on the road, but we can learn defensive driving techniques that help us better manage our vehicles. With both online and classroom versions, anyone can benefit from a driver improvement clinic with minimal disruption to life.