Per California law, anyone who is convicted of a wet reckless or DUI in the state will be required to enroll in a DUI school program. Enrollment must be made within 21 days of a defendant's sentencing. Typically, enrollment in a program of this nature requires that you show proof of an order from the court, or at least a notice of license suspension issued by the DMV; successful completion is almost always imposed as a requirement for persons who are convicted and placed on probation.
The program requirements for each person who is convicted of DUI will depend upon the circumstances connected with the DUI offense for which they were convicted. For example, first-time offenders will be subjected to a different set of expectations than will a second-time offender. To better prepare yourself for the requirements to which you could be held after conviction for DUI, review the following.
First-Time DUI Programs: A majority of the drug and alcohol education programs in the state of California are specifically geared toward first-time offenders. Currently, there are five well-known programs for first-time DUI offenders: three programs that consist of two twelve-hour programs; one three-month long program; one six-month long program; and one nine-month long program. The program in which you enroll will depend on the nature of your conviction. For example, the twelve-hour DUI school for wet reckless convictions is reserved strictly for persons who have been convicted for a wet reckless. The twelve-hour program for underage drinking is only available to persons who are under the age of 21 and have been convicted of DUI.
- The three-month long program for first-time offenders is arguably the most common of all DUI school programs. In total, this program entails 30 hours of instruction, which can include lectures, videos, and group discussions regarding state DUI laws. One-on-one counseling is also offered in these programs.
- The six-month long program is ordered for defendants that the judge feels need more than only three months of rehabilitative schooling. Persons who are most often required to complete a six-month program are those whose BAC level was between 0.15% and 0.19%; persons who are young and who the judge feels need an impactful sentence; and persons who caused an accident from driving while intoxicated.
- The nine-month long program is required of first-time offenders whose BAC was at 0.20% or higher. This program can also be applied to persons who are convicted for a wet reckless and have previously been charged for the same offense, or for a DUI within the past ten years.
Second-Time DUI Program: For second-time DUI offenders, an 18-month long program will be required. Again, the content of these DUI courses usually consists of lectures, videos, and group discussions about state DUI laws and drug / alcohol abuse. A total of 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol / drug education, 6 hours of community re-entry monitoring, and bi-weekly interviews during the program's first year will all be required of persons who attend this DUI program.
Multiple DUI Program: A 30-month long DUI offender program is required of persons with multiple offenses. Typically, defendants who are found to have a conditionally high BAC for a second-time offense, as well as those who have been charged three or more times are those who are sentenced to a 30-month program of this nature. During the program, participants will complete 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol / drug education, 120-300 hours of community service, and frequent individual therapy sessions.
If you've been arrested for DUI anywhere in the Los Angeles County, then you should not wait to seek the aggressive legal representation of a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at the law offices of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. Under the aggressive defense of a lawyer at our office, you can confidently challenge the criminal DUI allegations that have been made against you, thus taking every step possible to avoid enrollment in a DUI school program that you would otherwise be required to complete upon conviction. Contact a DUI lawyer at our office to learn more.