There are many harsh penalties that convicted drunk drivers are likely to face in California. One of the many consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol is the potential for mandatory attendance in a California alcohol education program. The goal of these programs is to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenses and to get help for the offender. These classes are expensive and time consuming. Even first-time offenders in California face the requirement to attend these classes.
Under California Law, first-time offenders are required to attend a 30-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. Drivers with a BAC of .2 percent or higher must complete a nine-month, 60-hour program even if it is their first offense. Drivers convicted of reckless driving must complete a 12-month program. Repeat offenders must attend an 18-month program that includes group counseling, alcohol education, community reentry monitoring and bi-weekly interviews. Third-time offenders must attend a 30-month program.
The cost of these programs is difficult to calculate. Offenders not only have to spend hours upon hours away from work, but they also have to pay for the classes out of their own pocket. Many DUI programs and schools cost hundreds of dollars. This expense will be added on top of the fines, the cost of installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device, and possible increase in insurance premiums the driver may already face.