Spring Break in Florida – Safety Reminders for Teen Drivers

dreamstime_s_2639818It is spring break season for students across the state of Florida! Now is a great time to make the most of your break from school and finish up your online Drug & Alcohol course to get your learner’s permit. But, if you’re planning to get out in the warm sunshine and enjoy this time off with your friends instead, make sure you are making safe choices. With spring break parties and gatherings happening across the state, there will be extra opportunities to engage in risky behaviors like drinking and drug use. Don’t become a statistic!

GDL institute is a provider of Florida’s driver training course for teenage drivers, but we don’t only write about driving-related topics. The Drug and Alcohol course is required for all new drivers in Florida before they can obtain a learner’s permit. In addition to the aim of teaching safe driving skills, the course also teaches the effects of drug and alcohol use and abuse, coping mechanisms, and ways to say no. Whether you are behind the wheel of a car or ‘safe’ in your own home, using drugs and alcohol is a risky decision. In fact, by age 15, about 35% of teens have had at least 1 drink. Furthermore, each year almost 5,000 teens die as a result of underage drinking; including about 1,600 deaths from car crashes (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

If you are already a licensed or permitted driver, your responsibilities are even greater. Getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking can be deadly. Even “good” drivers sometimes make decisions that put them in potentially dangerous situations. Each year almost 5,000 teens die as a result of underage drinking; including about 1,600 deaths from car crashes (NIAAA). The decision to say no to teen drinking and drugs is critical.

To learn more about how drugs and alcohol can affect your body, your mind, and your driving ability, register for the online Drug and Alcohol course today. What you learn can help you to say no when the pressure is on. From everyone here at GDL Institute, we’re wishing you a wonderful spring break! Our staff is available via phone, e-mail and Live Chat six days a week to assist you wish any questions you have about the course.


  1. Underage Drinking Fact Sheet – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Florida Driver’s Test Gets Much More Difficult. What Does This Mean for Florida Teens?

Florida driver testLocal teens have been following the same steps to obtain a driving permit for years. Complete a Drug & Alcohol course online, take a learner’s permit exam online or at the DMV, bring your required documents to a Florida DHSMV office, and get started behind the wheel. What teens might not know is that changes were recently made to the learner’s permit exam for the first time in 20 years. These changes have resulted in skyrocketing failure rates ranging from 60-80% across different Florida counties. Wow!

After officials noted an increasing rate of traffic accidents among new drivers, they made the decision to revamp the learner’s permit exam with the intention of making sure that these new drivers are ready for the road. The test was re-written and went from a format of two sets of 20 questions, to a new 50 question single test. According to NBC 2 news, officials said the old test relied a little too heavily on memorization. The new test adds more situation-based questions, and it is causing many more people to fail (NCB2 News). Officials are now reviewing the test for ways to make changes, remove any ambiguous questions, and increase the pass rate while still carefully testing new drivers’ knowledge.

So, what can students do to make sure they well prepared for their test? Choosing the best possible Drug & Alcohol course from GDL Institute puts new drivers in the best position for a passing grade. Not all courses are created equal. If you choose to take your Drug and Alcohol class online, make sure you are choosing a high-quality course for the best instruction, examples, and learning opportunities. The new driver exam forces students to demonstrate they understand the rules of the road; not regurgitate memorized stats and facts. We can better prepare you for the new format!

We are approved to offer both the online Drug & Alcohol course, and also the online permit exam. And, by choosing our Value Package course bundle, you’ll also receive a free practice test to put you in an even better position to pass your exam. The course is designed to be fun, informative, and put you in the best possible position to pass your exam on the first try. Choose GDL Institute for your driver education, and get started on the road to driving independence.


New Video from GDL Institute: How To Get a Florida Learner’s Permit

The process to obtaining a driving permit in Florida is simple! Check out our new video, which shows exactly how easy it is to obtain your learner’s permit, with the required online Drug and Alcohol course. Questions or comments? Let us know in the comments section below.

Make sure to also visit GDL Institute’s YouTube channel. We often hear from our students that they not only learned a lot from their driver training course, they enjoy the additional driving tips, news and humorous videos we share socially.

Truant Florida Teens Face Driver’s License Suspensions in October

Teen TruancyFor some Florida teens, October marks the beginning of the end, in terms of their driving privileges. It’s the time of year when the state starts yanking driving privileges for teens that have been cutting too much class.

For almost 20 years now, the law stipulates that Florida teens under the age of 18 cannot miss more than 15 days of school with unexcused absences within a 90 day period or their learners permit or driver’s license will be suspended (hardship waivers are allowed in rare circumstances, such as for health or family crises). A teen’s license will remain suspended until the student provides proof of school attendance for 30 consecutive days. The law aimed at keeping kids in class and decreasing dropout rates is just one way that school officials are working to combat truancy. And, it’s certainly a useful tool in keeping teens, who don’t want to forfeit their driving independence, in classrooms.

According to the Tampa Tribune, the Florida DHSMV tracks suspensions by quarters, with an often double-digit jump in the numbers Oct. 1-Dec. 31, starting six weeks into the school year. The number of suspensions corresponds closely with population centers: Miami-Dade, which has the biggest public-school district in Florida, was number one for license suspensions in 2013-14 with 671. Seven smaller counties had no suspension orders. Three Tampa Bay counties made the top 10 list for suspensions issued last school year: Pinellas was No. 4 with 406, Hillsborough was No. 8 with 193 and Pasco was No. 10 with 134.

To learn more about Florida driving laws and regulations for teens, check out the online Drug & Alcohol course from GDL Institute. The Drug & Alcohol course is mandatory for all teens prior to obtain their learner’s permit.

Do you think license suspensions for chronically absent teenagers are an effective tool in combatting high school dropout rates? What other tools would you suggest to officials for keeping students active and engaged in the classroom?