Here’s the Information About California DUI Classes

A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in the state of California comes with serious repercussions. DUI charged individuals not only face jail time, but are also required by law to enroll for various DUI education programs licensed by the state. DUI programs are established by the state to lower the number of DUI repeat offenses by allowing people to deal with alcohol or drug-related issues. This article explains DUI programs: what they entail, the cost, and also other technicalities (such as proving to the court that you have actually successfully finished a program).

Click here to see an infographic about DUI Quick Facts.

Which DUI Program Must You Complete?

Conviction of a DUI charge for the first time in California means that you are required by the law to take part in an alcohol education class AB541 for 30 hours. This means that if you are found with a DUI offense, it is mandatory for you to attend this class twice every week for about 4 months (this period could more or less, depending on the nature of the conviction).

A wet reckless charge carries fewer penalties. Enrolling for Wet Reckless programs is 12 hours in a DUI class.  If you are a first time DUI offender and/or you declined to provide a blood or breathe test after you have been arrested for DUI, the law still requires you to participate in the 9-month DUI program.

The state also provides SB38; which is an 18-Month Program for DUI offenders convicted for a second time.  In most cases, this program entails 52 hours of counseling and 12 hours of drug and alcohol education, as well as 6 hours of community reentry monitoring.

Interviews are also conducted twice a week for the first year after enrollment. Additionally, the state of California offers 30-month period DUI Programs for a third time and subsequent offenders.                           

How Much Does a DUI Class Cost?

The cost and duration of DUI school highly depend on the type of DUI offense.  In California, DUI schools often require one to attend the class for a period no less than 3 months, which is equivalent to 30 hours of class attendance with costs as much as $2,000 for subsequent offenders. The table below can guide you more on the general costs for DUI classes:

DUI Program Average Cost
12 Hour PDUI Class (SB1176) $300-$400
3 month DUI Class $600- $700
6 month DUI Class (AB 762) $800-$900
9 month DUI Class (AB 1353) $1,000-$1,200
18 month DUI Class (SB 38) $1,800-$1,900

To learn more about all of the costs associated with a DUI, check out our article and infographic: How Much Does a DUI Really Cost?

What if I Can’t Afford DUI Classes?

The cost of a DUI can be troublesome especially for those who cannot afford to pay for DUI school. The good news is that the state of California offers waivers for those who can’t afford to pay for school as ordered by the court. Perpetrators can be assessed financially by DUI program providers, but the issuance of waivers depends on the offender’s financials. As a result, it is necessary by law for the defendants to show documents revealing their income.

Proof of Enrollment and Completion May be Required

In many instances during the sentencing of DUI offenders, the court usually orders the defendant to provide proof of enrollment in DUI School.  This should not be a problem because your service provider will provide the court with proof of enrollment on behalf of the defendant. This proof is usually in the form of a certificate. Once one has finished their program, the service provider will then issue the participant with a certificate of completion that should serve as proof of completion.

What will I do at California DUI School?

During DUI classes, offenders are required to listen to lectures and also take part in group and video discussions, which generally aim to teach about the risks of driving under the influence. In most cases, the program usually involves counseling a group of DUI offenders as well as interviewing them. Although it is not a must for attendees to talk during the discussion, they must be actively involved in individual interviews. For obvious reasons, it would be an offense for a DUI defendant to attend sessions while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those who cross this line can be expelled from the program.

Can I Miss a DUI Class?

You might be tempted to skip a few classes, but be very cautious. Penalties range from a bench warrant, license suspension, violation of probation, and in the worst-case scenario, imprisonment. In some cases, the defendant can afford to miss a DUI session, participants must make up for lost sessions before they can be given completion certificates. The number of sessions missed before termination of DUI class depends on the type of DUI program. For instance, for AB541 program termination can occur if the defendant misses more than 5 classes.

What Happens if I Fail to Complete the Program?

Your service provider is legally obligated to report failure to complete the program to your presiding judge who may then issue a benchmark warrant for your arrest. An arrest typically means that you will be liable to a new probation hearing with new applicable penalties including additional sentencing. On top of this, you won’t be able to operate any motor vehicle with a suspended license. Your best course of action is to diligently finish your classes and hope for a good recommendation.

At The DUI Attorney, Criminal Defense Hero, we recommend that you follow through with your DUI program just to make your life easier. In case you have more questions about DUI Programs, do not hesitate to reach out to us for expert legal advice.