Drunk driving convictions carry several consequences, including fines, jail time, driver’s license suspensions, and mandatory alcohol education classes. The duration of the classes depends on the offense and the number of DUI / DWI convictions a driver has had during a 10-year period.
Alcohol education classes can be ordered by either the court or the DMV. Often, a driver whose license was suspended and who wishes to obtain a restricted license must either enroll in or complete alcohol education courses to obtain the restricted license.
Sometimes, mandatory alcohol education can be reduced or even avoided through a plea bargain– an arrangement with a prosecutor that allows a DUI driver to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Often times, the reduced charge carries a more manageable educational requirement. An experienced California drunk driving attorney can evaluate each case to determine whether a plea bargain is a likely or favorable outcome.
Like other aspects of a Driving Under the Influence case, the length of an alcohol education requirement depends on the number of drunk driving convictions during a 10-year period. Multiple convictions within the 10-year period garner harsher penalties, but if a second arrest occurs more than 10 years after a first offense, it is treated as a first-time DUI.
The standard first-offender alcohol education program requires attendance at one three-hour session for 12 weeks, or approximately 36 hours of coursework. It may be possible to get a restricted driver’s license to allow for driving to and from the program.
The standard program for second-offenders is divided into several phases, and typically begins with mandatory attendance at weekly sessions, gradually changing to every other week. Finally, there is a 30-month program for multiple offenders.
Mandatory attendance at alcohol education programs can sometimes be reduced through careful negotiation. A California lawyer experienced in defending DUI / DWI cases can evaluate each case to determine how to minimize the amount of alcohol education and other consequences of a drunk driving arrest.