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Convicted of DUI and Sentenced to Driving School?

If you are like most adults, schooling is a distant memory. However, if you're found guilty of a DUI offense, that could change rapidly. This is because DUI convictions in California carry severe consequences, including probation, a license suspension, fines, possible jail time, and compulsory DUI school. Mandatory DUI training will also serve as a month-long reminder of how significant California DUI offenses are treated. 

California DMV and the courts impose these classes, which can last between 6 weeks to thirty months based on the location and nature of your offense. DUI programs are designed to inform defendants about the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as provide counseling to solve their problems. If you've been arrested and convicted of DUI, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, and probably most critical, you should seek the advice of a DUI lawyer who could help you protect your rights as well as assist you through the complicated legal procedure that accompanies a DUI offense.

Our attorneys at the Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney are here for comprehensive counsel if you are facing any DUI issues in Los Angeles. Our attorneys have extensive experience in establishing effective defense tactics. We have assisted many people in fighting DUI accusations, navigating DUI classes, and handling other additional sentencing conditions. Here's everything you need to know about DUI classes.

Overview of California DUI Classes


DUI programs are often held in person and feature a combination of education and counseling for DUI defendants. The educational element assists defendants in understanding California's DUI rules as well as how they apply to them. It could also involve lectures, films, and group sessions to educate attendees on "problem" drinking and substance abuse.

The counseling part of the program is frequently done in groups, to the one-on-one meetings that are considered necessary. During classes, participants must stay sober and fully participate in any group sessions. If you do not comply, you could be kicked out of the program. It is important to note that internet-based DUI classes don’t meet the standards of the California DUI Program.

Persons Required To Take California DUI Classes


Anyone found guilty of violating the driving laws must complete the DUI classes. Examples of these violations include:

  • Driving while intoxicated or high on drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  • Operating an automobile with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or more
  • Minors DUI with a blood alcohol content of .05 percent or more 
  • Wet reckless charges
  • Any additional offense involving alcohol or drugs while driving

You should also appear in court if you plead no contest (nolo contendere) or guilty to either of the aforementioned offenses rather than being found guilty after a jury trial. 

Duration For DUI Programs

California DUI programs can last anywhere from twelve hours to thirty months. The duration of a defendant's participation will be determined by the severity of your driving violation, your BAC, and the jurisdiction in which you were captured and later convicted.

12-hour DUI Program

If you're found guilty of a first-time "wet reckless" violation as part of a plea deal with your DUI attorney, the courts will require you to finish a twelve-hour DUI course as a provision of this reduced conviction. This is well known as an SB 1176 program. 

A driver can't be apprehended for committing a "wet reckless" offense. Wet reckless, in this context, is defined as a reduced crime that emerges from a California DUI plea deal. In other words, the motorist acknowledges driving carelessly while having a measurable level of alcohol content in her or his blood, that is the "wet" element.

Minors under the age of 21 who are sentenced for their first California DUI could be eligible for the same course. This program is known as the AB 803 program. The program requires you to take part in the weekly two-hour sessions spaced out over 6 weeks. The 12-hour DUI course will be required of a minor driver if:

  • The motorist is between the ages of 18 and 20
  • This is his or her first DUI sentence

Three-month DUI Course

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than 0.15 % and this is the first DUI charge over the last ten years, you must undergo three months of mandatory DUI course. The three-month DUI Course, also known as the AB 541, is the most popular DUI program duration for defendants in California. It'll also be a probationary period for persons convicted of both drug and alcohol DUIs. 

The exact programs and classes differ based on the alcohol or drug education program's provider. However, a driver could expect to complete 10 to 15 sessions in total. This normally takes 3 to 4 months, with one meeting every week. The following are the elements of a standard three-month DUI training course:

  • A registration and intake meeting
  • Education sessions lasting 12 hours
  • Group therapy lasting 18 hours
  • 3 sessions of individual therapy

6-month DUI Program

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .15 and .19 % and this is your 1st DUI charge over the last ten years, you must undergo the 6-month compulsory DUI course. This is California's second most popular DUI program for first-time defendants. This training could also serve as a probationary period for individuals convicted of alcohol and drug DUIs. Normally, forty-five hours of joint drug and alcohol assessment, drug and alcohol education, as well as individual and group counseling sessions are involved. 

9-month DUI Course

If a defendant's BAC is higher than 0.20 % or he/she declines chemical tests after being detained, the defendant could be obliged to enroll in a DUI program for 9 months. These programs, also known as AB 1353, normally last nine months and comprise sixty hours of therapy and education. If the following conditions are met, the court would order an intoxicated driver to undergo a nine-month California DUI program:

  • The motorist is a first-time offender with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent or above 
  • After being detained for DUI, the motorist refused to take the chemical test
  • The motorist has a previous DUI charge or wet offense on his or her record over the past ten years and has entered a guilty plea to the wet reckless offense

A standard 9-month DUI school program includes sixty hours of instructions, which include:

  • 16 personal interviews (lasting for fifteen minutes each)
  • 22 group sessions of two hours each (once every week)
  • Attending thirty-six Alcoholics Anonymous sessions
  • 6 education lessons of two hours each (which could incorporate both films and lectures)

18-month DUI Course


A 2nd DUI sentence within ten years of a previous wet reckless or DUI conviction would result in an eighteen or thirty-month DUI course. Most of the 2nd time DUI defendants must complete the 18-month alcohol or drug education program, also known as an SB38. In addition, a court would allow select subsequent or 3rd DUI defendants to attend an 18-month DUI class instead of the thirty-month course described below. A driver should not have done the eighteen-month DUI course as a 3rd or subsequent defendant to be eligible for the course.

This DUI course lasts 18 months and involves group discussions, lectures, and films about California DUI statutes as well as alcohol and drug abuse. There's also a therapy session where an instructor encourages motorists to recognize any alcohol and/or drug issues. They could also make suggestions about how to overcome those tendencies.

The eighteen-month DUI school for repeat offenders also features "community reentry supervision." This facilitates the driver's recovery to a "normal" life. This includes assistance in transitioning away from California's stringent DUI school conditions and into self-support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Throughout this period, the course provider could be able to assist the individual with a variety of tasks like getting a job.

A 30-month DUI Program

A few California counties allow a thirty-month repeated defendant DUI class known as an SB 1365. If a motorist resides in either of these jurisdictions, the court would order that the motorist attend this program if the following conditions are met:

  • The motorist had a relatively high BAC during his or her second-time DUI crime
  • The motorist was found guilty of — or pleaded no contest or guilty to — a subsequent or a 3rd DUI crime with any blood alcohol content

However, defendants should confirm with the courts since it's subject to revision. When available, the thirty-month DUI class program requirements include:

  • Group therapy for 78 hours
  • 12 hours of drug and alcohol education
  • Community service of 120-300 hours
  • Frequent one-on-one interviews

Costs For a DUI Program


DUI classes, as mentioned above, are a significant obligation in the state of California. It's also a substantial financial outlay. There are a variety of California DUI program providers, and prices vary, but you could anticipate incurring the following costs on average:

  • $200 to $300 for a 12-hour course
  • $450 to $550 for a three-month program
  • $750 to $950 for a 6-month course
  • $1,000 to $1,250 for a 9-month course
  • $1,550 to $1,750 for an 18-month program
  • $3,000 for a 30-month course

Unfortunately, defendants are obligated to settle these charges out of their pocket, including a down payment once they register in the program. You could ask for a fee reduction or a waiver from a few of the DUI program providers if you don't have the financial means to pay for your course.

A fee waiver is available for defendants who are unable to pay for their DUI class. Defendants could request a fiscal evaluation directly from the DUI course provider. The lowered fees are determined by the sliding-scale rule. If a defendant is eligible for a waiver, the DUI class program would not:

  • Require any fee as the down payment
  • Deny services merely because of the defendant's financial situation "Waitlist" a defendant or send her or him to other providers because they are unable to settle the entire amount
  • If a defendant is eligible for general support benefits, impose missing class fines of $5.00 or more per month, as well as a $5.00 fee for rescheduling classes and/or a ten-dollar school readmission fee, if necessary

Defendants must be ready to furnish their DUI course provider with a general support award letter and/or any other proof of income. Before determining a lower payment schedule, the program should confirm the defendant's income.

FAQs on California DUI Classes

How Do I Prove My Enrollment To the DMV and the Courts?

1.  Enrollment Confirmation

During a DUI conviction, the court would order the offender to present "evidence of enrollment" in a DUI academy within twenty-one days. When a defendant enrolls in the program, the providers will normally submit documentation of registration certificate to both the DMV and the courts on his or her behalf.

2.  Completion Evidence

The court would also set a deadline for the offender to finish his or her DUI classes. Once the offender successfully finishes the DUI program, the course provider would send a completion certificate to both the DMV and the courts.

What Will Happen If I Don't Show Up For a Class?

Participants in a DUI program can skip some classes. However, before receiving a completion certificate, they should make up for any missed classes. A participant would be expelled from the program if he or she surpasses the allowed number of days. The maximum number of sessions a motorist can skip before being kicked out of a court-ordered DUI program will be determined by the courts. 

Find a DUI Attorney Near Me

If you are facing charges of DUI, you could use an expert DUI lawyer to defend your privileges and rights as well as to reduce the repercussions. Call the Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney immediately at 323-464-6700 to schedule a consultation with a lawyer who can help you preserve your rights if you are in Los Angeles. Do you want to learn more about enrolling in DUI programs as soon as possible? Get a free evaluation of your DUI lawsuit from our team today.

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Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028