Does a DUI Require Mandatory DUI Classes?

Each state creates its own DUI laws and penalties but some consequences are common across states. Alabama, California, Kentucky, and Maine are among the many states that require both alcohol education and treatment/assessment for individuals convicted of DUI. Other states including Delaware and Kansas require participation in one program or the other but not both. Learn more about mandatory DUI school and whether it applies to DUI convictions in your state.

DUI School

If a state has a mandatory alcohol assessment, education, and treatment law, DUI offenders must participate in these DUI prevention programs upon conviction. A judge may also require participation as a condition of probation or as a component of a suspended sentence. These programs educate participants about DUI consequences and the dangers of becoming dependent on alcohol.

An alcohol education program is a common alternative to the harshest penalties of a DUI conviction. Depending on state law, the program may be substituted for fines, driver license suspension, or time in jail. Restoration of driving privileges may hinge on successful completion of an alcohol therapy or education program. If an individual convicted of DUI does not comply with the terms of this program, the driver license might not be reinstated and additional court action may be warranted.

Sixty percent of states with mandatory programs for DUI prevention require DUI offenders to undergo alcohol education and treatment programs. Consult a DUI lawyer to find out whether one or both of these programs are required in your state. If participation is not mandatory, a judge will consider several factors to determine whether DUI school is warranted. Factors include blood-alcohol content at time of the arrest, previous DUI convictions, and whether another person was hurt or killed during the event.

Who Imposes the Laws?

After sentencing but prior to a trial, an alcohol assessment is performed. A state court or the state department of motor vehicles may require someone charged with DUI to attend an alcohol education or treatment program. During final sentencing, the results of participation in the program are considered. To avoid the harshest sentences, DUI offenders should pay attention to what is taught and exhibit the intended changes.

Alcohol education and alcohol treatment programs have different levels featuring different criteria and treatment periods. A first-time DUI conviction may require participation in a Level 1 program for alcohol education comprised of two days or 12 hours of instruction regarding the effect that alcohol has on the body. A repeat offender may have to participate in a multiple-phase program.

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