In the 1980s, as drunk driving escalated to new proportions, the California legislature, like many other state lawmakers, made a concerted effort to crack down on individuals who drive under the influence. In addition to imposing mandatory jail sentences, limiting plea-bargaining, increasing fines, and restricting the use of driver’s licenses, an effort was also made to develop, expand, and formalize requirements related to DUI educational programs.
The 1990s saw the implementation of minimum three-month license programs for first offenders. In 1999, the California Assembly enacted legislation that made DUI programs mandatory for individuals convicted of “wet and reckless” offenses. In 2006, the state implemented a nine-month program for first offenders with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or higher. Over 125,000 motorists participate in California’s DUI programs annually.
California “DUI School” is a program of alcohol education and prevention ordered by courts and/or the California DMV. A driver must enroll in California DUI school if convicted of a DUI or “wet” driving offense such as:
- California Vehicle Code § 23152(a), driving under the influence,
- California Vehicle Code § 23152(b), driving with a BAC of .08% or higher,
- California Vehicle Code § 23140, underage DUI (BAC of .05% or higher), or
- California Vehicle Code § 23103.5, “wet reckless.”
It is important to understand that the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) does not license any online DUI programs. Any DUI classes offered over the internet do not meet California’s DUI Program requirements.
In most DUI cases in Riverside County, those individuals convicted of a DUI must attend an Alcohol Education Program. First offender alcohol programs consist of a 36-hour course with participants required to attend three-hour sessions for 12 weeks or be enrolled in a six or nine-month program, depending on their level of blood alcohol or blood alcohol content (BAC). Individuals may apply for a restricted driver’s license, which will allow them to drive to and from the program, work, and within the course of work, at any DMV field office.
Many Californians charged with DUI assume that the evidence against them is insurmountable. They would be wrong in many instances. DUI cases in California courts are rarely hopeless. Police officers make errors in their investigations. Equipment and available technology such as breathalyzers and blood testers are error-prone. Other conditions related to the use of prescription medication may yield false blood alcohol content data. Experienced DUI defense lawyers are well seasoned in finding the flaws and weaknesses of prosecutors’ cases.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience asserting the rights of and defending California motorists. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.