One of the many penalties ordered for drunk driving can include completion of a mandatory DUI driver education class. These classes familiarize drivers with their local laws and provide simple strategies for avoiding a repeat offense. A court-ordered drivers education class is a pretty minor penalty considering the seriousness of the offense.
The law is pretty clear about the penalties for driving while intoxicated. A strict measurement of permissible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is in place, with serious penalties for drivers who exceed it. The legal limit for adults in the United States is 0.08 percent. For younger drivers, the limit is even lower and can vary from state to state.
The state may order both adult drivers and young drivers to mandatory drivers ed, although underage drivers often lose their driving privileges completely until reaching the age of 18, regardless of classes.
And blood alcohol levels aren’t the only determining factor. Most drivers show impairment of reflexes well below the legal limit, and can still be charged and required to take a driver education course.
The Mandated DUI Driver Education Course
Courts are authorized to require a driver education class as the result of a driving while impaired or intoxicated. These mandatory classes may be the only way a convicted driver can reduce fines, jail time, or enjoy the privileges of driving in the future.
Judges can require attendance to these classes along with treatment and education for alcohol abuse, so it’s worthwhile to accept the consequences with full cooperation. Often referred to as “Drunk Drivers Education” or “DUI School,” attendance can often determine your future ability to drive legally in your state. Refusal to do so could possibly result in contempt charges or stricter penalties.
Requirements for DUI Driver Education Vary by State
Criminal courts in your state can require a drivers education class and alcohol abuse education, and your compliance will factor into any final sentence you receive. Many states have mandatory classes regardless of the circumstances of the charges or final sentence by the judge.
May states require both classes and alcohol abuse education before reinstating your license, even if you have no history of alcohol abuse or related charges. The state can also order you attend an assessment for substance abuse treatment. You can research the probability of receiving court-ordered DUI driver education by state at DMV.org.
Advantages of DUI Adult Driver Education
It seems like an inconvenience, however, a drunk driver who can satisfy the court by taking a drivers education class should consider themselves fortunate indeed. The fact is that someone in the U.S. dies every hour of the day due to drunk driving. That’s over 10,000 people each year. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving
Each state regulates mandatory DUI programs and has their own requirements for abuse assessment and course syllabi. In general, all DUI driver classes cover a few key areas:
- Make offenders aware of the risks and results of driving while drunk
- Assess and provide counseling for alcohol abuse
- Assess the risk of repeat offenses
Once you complete the counseling and class, the judges may take your history into account regarding the circumstances of your arrest. The program’s goal is to reduce repeat offenses, and that should be your goal as well. The state will mandate the curriculum of the class, the length, and the cost.
Are You Eligible for a Reduced Sentence by Taking DUI Driver Education?
Consider the ability to reduce your sentence through drivers education a privilege. Not every DUI case is eligible. Several factors will weigh into the judge’s decision. These include:
- Prior offenses
- Your BAC at the time of arrest
- Other criminal convictions
- Whether your arrest occurred at a traffic stop or accident
- History of dangerous behavior
- Prior attendance at DUI driver education classes
The state will determine whether the class is mandatory, but the judge will have final determination as to whether you’re eligible for any leniency after attending. Your state may require a DUI driver education course and substance abuse counseling to reinstate your license in the future, even after you satisfy the requirements of the judge’s sentence.
What is a DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Course? DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction is an intervention program mandated by law for people convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), possession of illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, or Boating Under the Influence (BUI). It consists of two components: an assessment component and an intervention component. Both components must be successfully completed in order to obtain a certificate of completion.
How Do I Find DUI Drivers Education Near Me?
As most states have a mandatory program for drunk driver convictions, it’s usually pretty simple to find a nearby class to satisfy the courts. The judge or court will often provide a list of approved classes and counseling programs. Some states will also help you pay for them if you can prove financial need.
Many states have a list of the approved classes available online. The locations may also vary for residents vs. non-residents. For example, Florida drivers issued a mandatory DUI driver education class from a conviction in Georgia can find an acceptable Florida-approved class to satisfy the Georgia requirements.
Are There Online DUI Driver Education Classes Available?
For the most part, state criminal courts will not accept online drivers education classes as part of your sentencing. This is because your attitude and attendance record plays a large part in the judge’s final sentence. It can also play a part in your state’s willingness to reinstate your license. Substance abuse counseling is also a big factor in the judge’s decision. And a virtual environment is not always conducive to assessing future risks.
A DUI conviction is a serious matter, and drunk driving destroys tens of thousands of lives and families every year. Take the penalties for such a criminal offense to heart. Substance abuse and addiction can seem insurmountable. However, there are many programs in place whose singular goal is to save lives, including that of the offender. When faced with mandated DUI driver education, truly the best option is to attend the classes and take them seriously.
Although DUI driver education classes can reduce penalties, there are also programs to address the core issues. Dealing with these can put your DUI conviction firmly in the past. For confidential help with substance abuse, access the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website for treatment options.
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