If you have recently been arrested and convicted of a DUI, you may find yourself having to attend DUI school. While this may be an inconvenience, as well as a budget breaker, it’s certainly a better outcome than being sentenced to spend time in prison. It’s best for you to look on the bright side and attend your DUI class with an open mind. The DUI lawyer that you hire to represent you in your case may be able to get you into this special school as a way of avoiding heavier penalties, such as fines and jail time. You’ll need to be aware of the conditions required so that you can complete the classes.
What Can You Expect When You Go to a DUI School?
If you are required by the court to attend a DUI driving school, there are certain requirements that you will be expected to satisfy. You will need to attend each and every class that is mandated for you. At the end of the experience, you may be required to take a test that proves that you absorbed the information that was provided to you. You will then receive a certificate of attendance that proves that you attended the class as ordered by the court. The consequences of not attending each and every DUI class could be very bad for you. You might receive a heavy fine or be ordered to prison.
How Do You Know if You Are Eligible to Attend DUI School?
There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not you are eligible to attend this kind of school. For example, many states will not allow you to attend this type of school if you are a repeat offender. Your eligibility for school may also depend on the level of your blood alcohol content when you were arrested. Some states will not allow you to attend this school if your level was above a certain level.
Can a Judge Disbar You From Attending an Alcohol Education Class?
If you have previously participated in this program or attended a similar type of school, you may be barred from attending it again. The judge may feel that you have not learned your lesson in an adequate fashion and that stronger preemptive measures are required. In this case, you may well receive a much higher punishment after your conviction.
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI as the result of an accident in which you caused damage to public or private property, or if the accident resulted in injuries or fatalities, you will probably not be allowed to suggest attending this school as an alternative to other penalties.
What Are the Different Types of Alcohol Education Classes?
If you are allowed to attend this type of class, there are several different kinds that you might be ordered to report to. If you are under the age of 21 and/or a first time DUI offender, you will usually be allowed to attend a Level I alcohol education class. This is a type of program that requires 12 hours of education about the dangers of alcohol, drugs, and driving under the influence. The course will usually be completed over a period of 2 days.
Are There Differences Between a Level I and Level II Program?
Many states will require that you participate in a Level II program. This is especially the case if you are not a first time DUI offender, or if your blood alcohol content was higher than the level that is acceptable for a Level I program – generally below .10. In a Level II program, you will generally be required to attend a much longer series of educational classes. The exact length of the program will vary from state to state. It will also vary according to the severity of your DUI offense. In most Level II programs, there will also be a certain amount of therapy that you will be required to receive.
How Long Will You Be Required to Attend a DUI Education Class?
As noted above, the amount of time that you will generally be required to attend a DUI class will depend on the rules of the state you were convicted in. Special circumstances, such as the severity of your offense, will also dictate how long you are required to attend one of these classes. Depending on the discretion of the judge who tries your case, you may also be required to attend a certain amount of therapy, the duration of which is covered under state guidelines.
What Is the Standard Length of Time for First Offenders?
A standard state sponsored DUI educational program may last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks. If you are first offender, your mandatory alcohol education program might take place over a series of two or three-hour sessions for 12 weeks, for a total of 24 to 36 hours of classes. If the nature of your offense was not too serious, you may qualify to receive a restricted driver’s license so that you can drive yourself to and from the classes.
What Is the Standard Length of Time for Repeat Offenders?
The course of state-sponsored alcohol education is different for second offenders. The nature of the classes will be more intensive and will frequently involve quite a bit of required therapy. The length of time you will be required to attend one of these programs will generally be much longer than if you were a first time offender. In some cases, the program may last up to 30 months. You will very likely not be allowed to obtain a restricted driver’s license, which means that someone will have to drive you to and from the classes.
Can You Order to Attend an Alcoholics Anonymous Program?
While a court will normally order you to attend a fully state accredited alcohol or DUI education program, your lawyer may sometimes be able to substitute a national program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. A judge cannot order you to attend this particular program but may allow you to do so as long as you are able to show proof of your regular attendance. Attending such a program may save you quite a bit of time and money as opposed to attending a DUI education program that is mandated by the state. However, your attendance in any such program will be monitored very closely.
What Other Types of Programs Are You Eligible to Attend?
You may also be able to check into a variety of other programs where you will receive the counseling and therapy that you need to overcome your issues with drugs or alcohol. For example, you may be able to attend classes sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or a number of other nationally recognized and accredited programs. The decision to allow this is up to the judgment of the court. It should be noted that a judge will not normally allow you to take this option if you have attended similar programs in the past with no visible results.
You’ll Need to Consult With Your DUI Attorney About Attending Classes
It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a free consultation with a DUI attorney in order to ascertain whether or not you are eligible to attend DUI education classes. If you are able to, this will be an excellent way for you to avoid more severe penalties, especially jail time. A qualified legal professional can help you to present your case in the best possible light so that you can convince a judge to allow you to attend one of these programs. Your best bet for a lighter state enforced educational burden is to contact a DUI attorney and arrange for professional legal representation.