California has many court-ordered DUI programs, which are designed to help DUI offenders receive assistance for their substance abuse and learn more about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. AB 541 is a first-offender three-month program. Title 9 of the California Health and Safety Code sets the minimum curriculum for California’s DUI programs.
From the California Department of Health Care Services web page:
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Behavioral Health Licensing and Certification Division, Driving-Under-The-Influence (DUI) Section, licenses and performs compliance monitoring on all DUI programs in California. The objectives of the DUI program are to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenses by persons who complete a state-licensed DUI program; and to provide participants an opportunity to address problems related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs.
Typically, the DHCS does not license any internet DUI programs and makes the statement that DUI classes offered on the internet do not meet the state’s DUI program requirements. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AB 541 program, as well as other programs, are being conducted online.
Drivers are eligible for an AB541 program if the DUI charge is the driver’s first DUI within a 10-year period, and the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was below 0.20%. Participants must enroll in the program within 21 days from their last court appearance.
The purpose of the AB 541 class is to educate motorists on the effects and inherent dangers of drinking and driving. The class also tries to achieve the reduction of recidivism, i.e. the likelihood that a person convicted of a DUI will be a repeat offender. Finally, the class tries to demonstrate the benefits of living a life of sobriety.
The AB 541 program focuses on counseling in a group setting. The program itself must minimally include, as mandated by Title 9:
- an enrollment/intake interview session,
- two case management sessions,
- ten alcohol/drug awareness education classes that total a minimum of 15 hours,
- ten group sessions that total a minimum of 15 hours,
The health department of each California county may add classes to the curriculum and require their completion before a certificate of completion may be issued. Riverside County adds Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to the list of DUI programs.
John Patrick Dolan defends those Californians charged with criminal offenses but he also helps them find the road to recovery through diversion programs and other available programs. Mr. Dolan has over forty years of experience helping well-intentioned Californians move forward from their criminal past and make lasting contributions to the Coachella Valley as valued members of the community. Call the Dolan Law Firm today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.