A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can have a lasting impact, both on your life and driving record. However, you can reduce those impacts, learn from your mistakes, and move forward with a DUI class. 

These DUI classes are offered as part of a restorative justice approach. Restorative justice is a broader philosophy that provides the offender a path forward and an opportunity to learn from their mistakes rather than simply penalizing them.

What Is the Purpose of DUI Classes? 

DUI classes have two main goals:

  • Reduce the number of repeat DUI offenses
  • Provide offenders an opportunity to address problems related to alcohol or drug use

There are different kinds of DUI classes available. 

Which DUI class you are required to complete can depend upon: 

  • The type of DUI offense
  • Whether this is your first offense (and any other criminal history)
  • How long you’ve been using alcohol or drugs 
  • The severity of your use

Regardless of whether you are guilty of the offense, a DUI class provides a valuable opportunity to learn about the risks of intoxicated driving and to make good driving decisions in the future. 

Participants may be required to pay fees, including additional costs for a leave of absence, missed activity, rescheduling, or an alcohol or drug test that returns a positive result. However, if you have a financial need, you may obtain a financial assessment to determine your ability to pay. DUI programs are not permitted to turn down a participant if they are unable to pay the fees.

Types of DUI Programs in California

The type of DUI program or class you take will depend on the criminal offense and other factors. Here is a brief overview of the kinds of programs available:

Reckless Driving

In California, a person who is convicted of reckless driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in their blood must complete a twelve-hour DUI education program. These are called wet reckless programs.

First Offender Program

Someone who is convicted of a first DUI offense is required to complete a state-licensed three-month, 30-hour drug and alcohol education and counseling program. 

If the offender’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.20 or higher, they must complete a state-licensed nine-month, 60-hour drug and alcohol education and counseling program. 

Regardless of your blood alcohol level, your lawyer might recommend that you attend a longer course in order to reduce your sentence.

18-Month Program

Second and subsequent DUI offenders are required to complete an 18-month program. 

The 18-month program requires: 

  • 52 hours of group counseling
  • 12 hours of alcohol and drug education
  • Six hours of community reentry monitoring
  • Biweekly individual interviews during the first year of the program

30-Month Program 

Some counties in California provide 30-month DUI programs for third and subsequent DUI offenders rather than the 18-month program.

This program requires: 

  • 78 hours of group counseling
  • 12 hours of alcohol and drug education
  • 120-300 hours of community service 
  • Regular individual interviews

An experienced DUI defense attorney can further explain these programs and which may be best for you, if applicable.

There Are No Licensed Internet Programs

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) does not license any internet DUI programs. Any DUI classes offered via the Internet do not meet DHCS program requirements. Be wary of any internet scams and fraudulent claims by companies claiming to provide licensed DUI programs online.

What Are the Consequences of Failing to Attend California DUI Classes?

While DUI classes are offered as a form of restorative justice and reoffense prevention, failing to attend can result in a loss of the opportunity. If you do not regularly attend your program, arrive under the influence of alcohol (or even under the influence of prescribed medication or medical marijuana), or otherwise do not comply with the program requirements, you might be dismissed from the DUI program.

If you are dismissed from your DUI program, you may be required to reappear in court and even risk a jail sentence. If you ignore the program and do not appear in court, you may risk additional criminal charges and a fine.

Complying with all requirements of your program is the best way to ensure that you can avoid jail time and move forward. A good criminal defense lawyer can help you stay on the right path and successfully complete your California DUI class.

Contact a San Diego DUI Lawyer at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Today For Help

For more information please contact the San Diego DUI attorneys at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers for a free consultation, give us a call at (619) 357-4977 or visit our convenient location:

Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers – San Diego Criminal Defense Law Firm
255 Broadway, Ste 1740. San Diego, CA. 92101