Mandatory DUI Classes
Most drivers are aware that DUI or DWI convictions carry a host of penalties, such as expensive fines, ignition interlock devices (which also carry out-of-pocket expenses) license suspension or revocation, and sometimes even jail time.
However, another common penalty—which could actually educate drivers—is attending mandatory DUI classes.
DUI Schools & Benefits
Each state has its own requirements regarding DUI classes, but most schools:
- Teach the offending driver the dangers of drunk driving.
- Provide counseling to those with alcohol addictions.
- Often, this counseling is mandatory, but for drivers with alcohol addictions, counselors might provide additional therapy or referrals.
- Prepare professional assessments regarding the risk of repeat drunk driving offenses.
- For example, was the DUI a one-time case of bad judgment, or does the offender have a true problem with alcohol?
- Generally, judges take these assessments into consideration and might increase or decrease penalties based on the results.
Overall, the goal is to prevent convicted drunk driving offenders from driving under the influence again.
Often, the state determines the school's length, curriculum, and cost; however, some states or individual schools might waive the cost depending on documentation regarding low-income status.
Eligibility for DUI Classes
Not every offender is eligible for a DUI school.
For example, your judge (or even state laws) might find you ineligible based on:
- How many times you've offended.
- First-time offenders are more likely to be eligible than repeat offenders.
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC).
- Other criminal results, including accidents that caused injury or death.
- Whether you've already attended such a program.
Again, even though we're discussing mandatory classes, your eligibility still might be determined by state laws, your judge's discretion, or both.
Finding a Drunk Driving School
Generally, finding a class isn't complicated.
Mandatory drunk driving schools must typically be structured to fit the state's requirements as well as provide a curriculum that offers counseling, assessment, and risk reduction.
While specific requirements do vary by state, usually the judge will provide a list of court-approved schools.
Hiring a DUI Attorney
Due to the seriousness of DUI charges and convictions, it's always wise to hire a DUI attorney if you can afford one.
Not only can an attorney best represent you in court (perhaps even better than public defenders, who generally are overloaded with cases), but one can also help limit the number and severity of your penalties—including getting you into a DUI school, which could limit some of your penalties and perhaps even look good to your car insurance provider.