Alcohol/Traffic Safety and Driver Education

The purpose of the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) ATS program is to develop and implement K-12 prevention curricula and instructional programs to counter the problem of drinking and driving by youth. Under s. 118.01 (2)(d)6., Wis. Stats., each school board is required to provide an instructional program on the prevention of accidents and promotion of safety on the public highways, including the relationship between highway safety and the use of alcohol and controlled substances under Ch. 961.


Alcohol/Traffic Safety Grants
Districts may apply for funds to conduct alcohol/traffic safety-related projects, or portions of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA)-related grants that are traffic safety-related, in a variety of ways. One avenue is through the department's State AODA Consolidated Grant Program. The Alcohol/Traffic Safety Program also supports student-planned and lead projects through the agency's Student AODA Mini Grant Program. The department has also provided alcohol/traffic safety grants to eligible local school districts to upgrade existing driver education simulators with alcohol driver analyzer equipment and software. If you have any questions, contact the Alcohol/Traffic Safety Program Consultant, Dr. Randy Thiel at:, or (608) 266-9677.


Professional Development Activities
Through the Alcohol/Traffic Safety Education program, school traffic safety curriculum materials, inservice/professional development workshops, conferences, and training events are also provided. Go to Save-The-Date below for more information on dates, times, and specific events.


Traffic Safety Education/Driver Education
Wisconsin requires the satisfactory completion of a driver education course (classroom and laboratory) for persons under 18 years of age electing to be licensed after the age of 16. There is no longer a State Driver Education Categorical Aid Reimbursement Program in Wisconsin. The last state categorical aid payments to districts were made in March, 2004.

Although state categorical aids have been eliminated, the DPI will continue to administer public school driver education programs as it has in the past. Districts that are planning to continue offering driver education programs will still be required to submit and have on file in the department, an approved Program Approval Application (PI 1709). Approved and eligible districts may also continue to apply for, and issue, DPI student course completion certificates.

Districts that do not have a DPI-approved program are not authorized to issue any DPI student course completion certificates. Any district that ceases to offer a DPI-approved program is to return all unused PI 1714 forms (Student Course Completion Certificates) to the DPI Alcohol/Traffic Safety Program, P.O. Box 7841, 125 S. Webster St., Madison, WI 53707-7841.


DPI Driver Education Program Approval Application (PI 1709)
In the spring of 2004, the Department of Public Instruction introduced its online driver education program approval application for use by public school districts, technical colleges, and private high schools wishing to be state-approved through the DPI. Each year, around March 15, the next fiscal year’s application is launched. Upon notification of the application having been launched, districts use assigned passwords to access their district’s online program approval application. The online application process begins on the following web page:

In addition to submitting the application online, districts are also required to print a copy of their completed application summary (PI 1709), and return that to the DPI for review and approval. The address to which the application summaries are to be sent is:
Driver Education Program
Department of Public Instruction
P. O. Box 7841
125 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7841

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Randy Thiel at (608)-266-9677, or Mark Freudenberg at (608) 267-9239




For questions about this information, contact Randall Thiel (608) 266-9677
Team Content Keywords: