You may go to jail for failure to complete your alcohol education classes.
California DUI convictions come with a host of consequences. If you plead guilty to driving under the influence or are convicted at trial, then you may face jail time, heavy fines and fees, community service, a driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes.
For many people, these alcohol education classes — which are designed to teach participants about how alcohol impairs driving, the short and long-term effects of a DUI and ways to avoid drunk driving — are burdensome. Depending on your sentence, the DUI classes could take as long as 30 months to complete. They can also be costly, ranging from $270 to $3,000. So what happens if you don’t complete DUI school?
As a DUI defense attorney in Riverside, CA can explain, going to these alcohol education classes is a standard component of many DUI probation conditions. The number of classes that you are required to take is based on whether this is a first-time DUI offense or if you have had multiple convictions within the past 10 years (known as the “lookback” period). There are 5 possible DUI programs that you may be ordered to attend:
- 12 hour program: typically imposed for a first-time “wet reckless” conviction
- 3 month program: usually ordered for a first-time DUI
- 9 month program: often imposed for a first-time DUI with a particularly high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or for a wet reckless conviction with a prior conviction for DUI or wet reckless
- 18 month program: ordered for a second DUI offense
- 30 month program: often imposed for a second DUI with a high BAC, or for third DUIs where the individual has already completed the 18 month program.
These programs are usually ordered as a form of alternative sentencing. In other words, a judge may order you to attend alcohol education classes instead of going to jail. Going to class and complying with the other terms of DUI probation is required if you hope to avoid jail time. If you violate these conditions, such as by not attending class, then the court may determine that you are in violation of your probation. This may lead to the judge sending you to jail to fulfill your sentence.
Of course, there are situations where you may not be able to attend a particular class, such as if you are sick or have an emergency. You will likely be required to make these classes up, and should check with the program to see if you are able to miss any classes. If you fail to finish your alcohol education classes, you may be kicked out of the program entirely, be found in violation of your probation, and get sent to jail. That is why it is so important to understand the terms and conditions of your DUI probation. Your DUI defense attorney in Riverside, CA can help you with this, and answer questions that you may have about your obligations.
If you have been charged with a DUI, the Chambers Law Firm can help. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.