California DUI Classes & Drunk Driving Programs

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Overview of DUI Classes

The objectives of the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program are to reduce the number of multiple DUI offenses by persons who complete a state-licensed DUI program and to provide participants an opportunity to address their problems related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs.  It provides a safe and education place for you to learn from your mistakes.

Everyone convicted of a wet reckless, california vehicle code 23103 or a DUI in California must enroll in a DUI class within 21 days of sentencing.  There are nearly 500 licensed DUI programs in California and most do not allow enrollment unless you have an order from the court.  Different programs have different qualities, costs, locations, and structure and it is a good idea to find one that matches your schedule and location in order to make the most of the time you spend there.

DUI Programs & Costs

If you get arrested for a DUI, it is mandatory that you take a 12-hour, 3-9 month, 18 month, or 30 month program to educate you on the dangers of driving under the influence.  There are different lengths, costs, and types of programs associated with the DUI schools.

DUI ProgramType Of DUIDurationPrice
SB 11761st “wet reckless”12 Hours$240
AB 5411st DUI3 MonthsApprox $550
AB 7621st DUI with aggravating factors6 MonthsApprox $880
AB 13531st DUI with aggravating factors9 MonthsApprox $1200
SB 38Multiple DUI18 MonthsApprox $1500
SB 1365Multiple DUI30 MonthsApprox $3400
Service Providers

Please download a directory of service providers or review our list of state approved drunk driver programs.

Wet Reckless Requirement

If you are convicted of reckless driving with a measurable amount of alcohol, also known as a “wet reckless,” in your blood you must complete a DUI 12-hour program.1 This is for a first time offender who pleads to a “wet reckless.”2  If you are convicted of a second “wet reckless” or DUI, then you are considered a second time offender and the length of the program you are required to attend will be longer.

First Time DUI Requirements

If you are convicted of a first DUI offense you must complete a state-licensed three-month, 30-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program.  A person convicted of a first DUI offense with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or higher must complete a state-licensed nine-month, 60-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program.  Licensed professionals attempt to raise the awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence and prevent these dangers from happening again.  These programs are designed to enable you to consider attitudes and behavior, support positive lifestyle changes, and reduce or eliminate your use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Multiple DUI’s

Second and subsequent DUI offenders must complete an 18-month multiple offender program with the following requirements:

  • 52 hours of group counseling
  • 12 hours of alcohol and drug education
  • 6 hours of community reentry monitoring; and
  • Biweekly individual interviews during the first 12 months of the program.

A county may elect to provide 30-month DUI programs for third and subsequent DUI offenders.  Los Angeles and Stanislaus Counties have these services available.  Program requirements are:

  • 78 hours of group counseling;
  • 12 hours of alcohol and drug education;
  • 120-300 hours of community service; and
  • Close and regular individual interviews3.

DUI School FAQs

What if I cannot afford the required class?

A DUI program is not permitted to deny entry to the class to those unable to afford the prices.  There is a fee waiver that you may be eligible for but you are required to prove your income and your inability to afford the cost.

How do I get to my classes if my license was suspended?

A first time offender may be granted a restricted license that will allow you to travel back and forth between home and work or your classes.  In order to get a restricted license you will have to show proof of SR-22 insurance and a court order to the DMV.  However, if you are a repeat offender, the chance of the court allowing a restricted license decreases with each conviction.

What if I cannot make it to one of my classes?

Most programs allow a certain number of absences from the class as long as you take your own time to make up the class before the program finishes.  However, if you miss more than the allowed absences, you will be dropped from the program and you will violate your probation.

What if I do not finish the DUI program?

Failure to complete the DUI classes result in a revocation of your restricted license and a violation of your probation terms.  The court may issue a warrant for your arrest upon notification that you did not complete the course. 

Can I take the class online?

No.  Online classes do not meet California’s requirements for a driving under the influence program.

Do my hours from my previous DUI class count toward the hours for my repeat offender class?

No.  No hours attempted or completed before sentencing are considered as progress toward completion of a repeat offender driving under the influence class.  Each time you are convicted, you must start the class over again.  This includes attendance and payment.

Related Offenses

How We Can Help

If you have been arrested for a DUI and would like to have a free confidential consultation than please call our office at: (818) 351-9555.

Get Legal Help Now

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 

Footnotes

  1. CA.gov, Driving Under the Influence Programs []
  2. California Vehicle Code 23103.5(f)(1) – Guilty Plea to Lesser Charge.  If the court places on probation a defendant convicted of a violation of Section 23103 that is required under this section to be a prior offense for purposes of Section 23540, 23546, 23550, 23560, 23566, or 23622, and that offense occurred within 10 years of a separate conviction of a violation of Section 23103, as specified in this section, or within 10 years of a conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, the court shall order the defendant to participate for nine months or longer, as ordered by the court, in a program licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 11836) of Part 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code that consists of at least 60 hours of program activities, including education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions. []
  3. Id. []