The law treats drunk driving convictions differently than other misdemeanor offenses. The consequences of a DUI conviction go beyond just fines and possible jail time. There are restrictions that limit a defendant's ability to get behind the wheel immediately after a DUI. The penalties are combined with financial restrictions and educational requirements that are intended to reduce repeat offenses.
One of the requirements of DUI probation is so-called DUI school. California DUI school is a counseling and education program that is intended to inform drivers of the dangers associated with impaired driving and help drivers address substance abuse problems. If a driver gets a second or 3rd DUI, DUI school becomes much more intensive.
When you are facing drunk driving charges, your California DUI defense attorney may be able to have your charges reduced to a wet reckless and avoid the most restrictive penalties of a DUI. Contact Gorelick Law Offices in the East Bay for a free consultation to talk about your DUI case.
Do I Need to Go to DUI School After a DUI?
If you are convicted of a DUI or accept a plea bargain for a DUI with reduced charges, you will generally have to attend a qualifying DUI school as part of probation. The probation conditions may depend on the individual charges, criminal history, judge and county where your case was heard, and other factors. DUI school will be a condition of probation for most drunk driving cases in California.
According to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), “the objectives of the DUI program are to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenses by persons who complete a state-licensed DUI program; and to provide participants an opportunity to address problems related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs.”
Only qualifying programs will count towards your DUI probation requirements. DHCS does not license any online DUI programs and internet DUI classes do not meet the California DUI requirements. Make sure your program qualifies before you sign up.
Most first-time DUI offenders will have to complete the 30-hour DUI education and counseling program. The 30-hour DUI school program includes educational classes, group counseling, and individual counseling. When the individual enrolls in a qualifying DUI program, they can obtain a DL 107 Proof of Enrollment Certificate to submit to the DMV within 21 days. After completion of the program, the provider will submit a certificate of completion to the court and the DMV.
California DUI School for Repeat Offenders
Drivers who are convicted of a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th DUI within a 10-year-period are considered repeat DUI offenders. The penalties for subsequent drunk driving convictions increase with each additional violation. Penalties can also increase when the driver was involved in an accident, had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.20%, or was involved in a hit-and-run accident.
After a 2nd DUI, the defendant will generally have to complete an 18-month second-time drunk driver program. The 18-month program is more in-depth than a first-offender DUI school program and includes more extensive education and therapy sessions.
For some drivers, a 3rd drunk driving conviction within 10 years will require completion of a 30-month DUI program. For counties without a 30-month program, the driver may be required to repeat the 18-month program.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), these multiple offender drinking driver programs have shown a decrease in repeat DUI incidents.
18-Month DUI School
An 18-month DUI program includes many of the same program components as other DUI school programs, including:
- Group counseling sessions: 52 hours
- Drug and alcohol education: 12 hours
- Biweekly individual interviews and counseling sessions during the first 12 months
- Community reentry monitoring: 6 hours
Also known as an SB38 Multiple Offender DUI Program, completion of the program is required for a driver to get their license reinstated. Many people find that it is difficult to fit an 18-month program into their life when they have to balance their job, school, family, and other obligations. If the participant has too many absences, they may have to retake the program.
30-Month DUI School
The 30-month program is a 2 ½ year commitment, with regular meetings, education sessions, and interviews throughout the period. Program components of the 30-month program include:
- Group counseling sessions: 78 hours
- Drug and alcohol education: 12 hours
- Community service: 120-300 hours
- Close and regular individual interviews
Maintain Sobriety During DUI School Attendance
Another important requirement of these programs is that attendees have to maintain program sobriety. The DUI program shall require a program participant to maintain program sobriety. This means that participants shall not attend program services while under the influence of any amount of alcohol or drugs, or get a DUI while enrolled in the program.
If the provider suspects a participant is under the influence, the participant may be required to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical screening. If the DUI program determines the participant is under the influence, they will be asked to leave and the violation will be reported.
Paying for DUI School in the East Bay
Drivers are responsible for paying the costs of DUI school. DUI programs can be expensive, especially for the longer 18-month and 30-month programs. The 18-month program may cost $2,000 or more and the 30-month program may cost $3,000 or more. Some individuals may be eligible for reduced fees, fee waivers, or financial assistance. If you are interested in financial assistance to help pay for DUI school, you can contact the DUI school provider for more information.
Legal Advice for East Bay DUI Defense
After a drunk driving arrest, you may be overwhelmed by the experience and not know where to turn. Your first step should be to contact an experienced East Bay DUI defense attorney to get the ball rolling in fighting for your rights. Your lawyer can act immediately to get you out of jail, and request an administrative DMV hearing so you can keep your driving privileges.
Your attorney can identify any defenses that can help you avoid a conviction or negotiate a plea deal to keep you out of jail. If you have any questions about what to do next after a DUI arrest in Alameda County or Contra Costa County, contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.
East Bay DUI defense attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 38 years of California drunk driving defense experience and understands the consequences of a criminal conviction. Representing individuals in Contra Costa and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, judges, and the local prosecutors involved.