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What You Need To Know About DUI Classes in California

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a dangerous and costly mistake that has far-reaching consequences. Nonetheless, thousands of people still make this error every year. To mitigate these risks and educate offenders, the State of California mandates DUI classes for those convicted of driving under the influence. It’s important to learn about DUI classes in case you find yourself in this situation.

DUI School Enrollment and Completion

In California, the court and the DMV will require a DUI offender to provide proof of enrollment in DUI school within 21 days of sentencing. These classes aim to educate individuals about the dangers of DUI and promote responsible driving habits to prevent recidivism.

The Restricted License in California

For some DUI offenders in California, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) may be an essential part of regaining driving privileges. These devices require a breath sample before the vehicle can be started as proof that the driver does not have alcohol in their system.

In certain cases, DUI offenders may be eligible for an IID-restricted license. This form of restricted license allows the holder to:

  • Drive anywhere the court has given them permission to go
  • Drive to and from their place of work
  • Drive to and from DUI school/classes

Even though an IID is intrusive, it is generally preferable to losing the ability to drive altogether.

Requirements for Obtaining a Restricted License

Before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues an IID-restricted license, they require the offender to provide:

  • Proof of enrollment in DUI school
  • Proof of financial responsibility (typically in the form of an SR-22, a specific type of insurance for high-risk drivers)

Meeting these requirements is vital in securing a restricted license to regain some driving privileges and get your life back on track.

12-Hour DUI Program 

Individuals convicted of a first-time “wet reckless” may be required to attend a 12-hour DUI program. This is a relatively short program tailored for first-time offenders to educate them on the consequences of driving under the influence and to discourage further reckless behavior.

The 3-Month Program

For first-time DUI offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.20%, a three-month DUI program is generally mandated. This program consists of 30 hours of instruction, ensuring that the attendees understand the risks and consequences of drunk driving and providing resources for avoiding reoffending.

The 9-Month Program 

First-time DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.20% or greater, those who refuse chemical tests, or those with a second wet reckless conviction can expect to attend a nine-month DUI program. This in-depth program helps individuals recognize the dangers of repeat offenses and outlines steps to prevent future mistakes.

The 18-Month Program 

The 18-month second-time DUI offender program is even more extensive, consisting of 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol/drug education, 6 hours of community reentry monitoring, and bi-weekly individual interviews during the first year. 

Individuals with three or more DUI offenses may qualify for the 18-month DUI program if they haven’t completed it before. This intense program gives third-time and subsequent offenders the chance to change their behavior by providing the support and resources needed to regain control of their lives.

The 30-Month Program 

In California, if a driver had a particularly high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) during a second offense or was convicted of or pled guilty to a third or subsequent DUI offense, they may be required to attend a 30-month program. 

What Happens in DUI School?

DUI school consists of group counseling sessions and educational components such as lectures, videos, and group discussions. These sessions aim to help individuals understand the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving and prevent future DUI offenses.

Sobriety During DUI Classes

While attending DUI classes, participants are expected to remain sober. If a participant is suspected of being under the influence during class, chemical screening may be employed. Failing these screenings could result in additional consequences, such as program expulsion or probation violations.

Completion and Consequences

If an offender fails to complete a court-ordered DUI program, they may face probation violations, which can result in a bench warrant and a hearing that could lead to an additional jail or prison sentence. 

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney To Protect Your Rights

It’s essential for those ordered to attend DUI classes to take them seriously and complete the program. If you’ve recently been arrested for DUI or need assistance with your case, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer for a free consultation. 

For more information please contact our Criminal Defense law firm of Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys at the nearest location for a free consultation.

Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys – San Jose Office
1625 The Alameda, Suite 405, San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 217-8818

Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys – Redwood City Office
600 Allerton St Suite 201G, Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 299-0500

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