DUI Classes in California

One of the penalties for a DUI conviction in the state of California is mandatory attendance at state-licensed and approved DUI classes. California is especially unforgiving for first time offenders, and most will be required to attend a 30-hour (three month) counseling and education program, which is directed at alcohol and drug abuse. The cost for this program is somewhere between $500 and $600, depending upon the facility that the individual plans to use. In fact, there are over 400 such programs that hold ADP (Alcohol and Drug Program) licenses in the state and they are designed to offer ways in which participants may change their lifestyle and attitudes to the effect of either eliminating or reducing their issues with alcohol and/or drugs. Generally, these programs are also intended to help reduce the number of DUI offenses statewide. The DUI classes California offers and programs of the like often involve education about the ‘disease’ concept of alcoholism and drug dependence and employ individuals with specific training in these areas. Additionally, family members are highly encouraged to attend family counseling sessions alongside the offender and are expected to be highly involved in the offender’s treatment – if at all possible.

There are at least 258 licensed ‘First Offender’ DUI classes California residents can take. These offer a complete, 30-hour drug and alcohol education and counseling program. If an offender has a higher BAC (.20%), they may be required to complete a longer, 60-hour (nine month) program of the same kind.

Also available are at least 204 state-licensed programs for second DUI offenders. Programs of this kind required those with a second DUI conviction to complete an 18-month program, including 52 hours of group counseling sessions, 12 hours of drug and alcohol education, at least 6 hours of ‘community reentry monitoring,’ and twice-weekly interviews (during the first 12 months). If an offender lives outside of Butte, Los Angeles, Stanislaus, Plumas, or San Joaquin counties, they may be required to attend these programs for longer periods of time, depending upon what county the offense took place in.

An offender with a third or subsequent DUI conviction may face harsher penalties, and more tedious and time-consuming DUI classes. California law, in most areas, dictates, that the convicted attend 12 hours of drug and alcohol education sessions, 78 hours of group counseling sessions, and serve anywhere from 120-300 hours of community service.

Why are these programs required for those who have been convicted of a DUI in the state of California? The idea is that education can lead to prevention. DUI offenses are considered to be quite serious as they could cause harm to the individual, their families, and the community at large. It is the belief of the law enforcement and court authorities that these types of classes may help decrease, not only instances of DUI (especially those involving accident or injury to third party), but also alcohol and drug dependence in the citizenry as a whole.

Meeting this Requirement if You Live Out of County or State

If you have been arrested for a DUI in the state of California, but are an out-of-state driver (or if you are not from that particular county), it is important to realize, first, that an individual only has ten days in which to request a hearing from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Even though your driver’s license may be issued by another state, your driving privileges within California may still be suspended, even though officers of the law do not have the authorization to seize your driver’s license, as it is the property of the state in which it was issued. However, it is important to note that the California DMV does have the right to notify your home state of the offense due what is known as the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. This is an agreement between states (other than Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Massachusetts) that share penalties such as license restriction, suspension, or revocation among them. In other words, if an offender is arrested for a DUI in California, but is from Rhode Island, the California DMV will alert the Rhode Island DMV of the charges, and the state of Rhode Island will act accordingly to restrict, suspend, or revoke the individual’s license.

Second, if the DUI arrest is for a misdemeanor offense, it is not always necessary for the offender to appear in person in court. Alternatively, the accused may choose to send a qualified attorney to represent them in the case at hand to waive the requirement to appear while further evidence, etc. is gathered. In sum, even if an individual lives out of county or state, it is of great importance to understand that the penalties in the county or state in which you are arrested will most likely be the same in your home state or county. For more information on DUIs and DUI classes, please feel free to contact a Summit Defense Criminal Attorney today.