The short answer to this question is no; you will not meet the requirements of California’s DUI program by taking these classes online. However, during the Covid pandemic, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) allowed some licensed providers to operate online.
The state of California must license any education program that individuals convicted of a DUI will need to take. There are a total of 500 state-licensed programs in California, and all programs operate in person.
The Typical Length of DUI School
Typically, the length of DUI school will vary depending on each driver’s DUI offense. DUI school is ordered by the courts when a driver is convicted of or has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, driving with a previous DUI offense, or driving with a blood alcohol count of %0.08 or greater.
However, the specific length of time will solely depend on the specifics of your case. Here is a summary of the different types of DUIs and the length of schooling needed for each:
- Wet reckless plea bargain: A wet reckless plea bargain is a reduced offense that results from making a deal with your DUI charge. You will need to complete a 12-hour DUI program for this type of offense. Likely, this 12-hour program will be spread out over six weeks with two-hour classes.
- Underage drinking: If you were caught for the first time driving under the influence while being 18-20 years old, you would need to complete a 12-hour DUI program.
- BAC levels under 0.20%: If your blood alcohol level was under this given limit, you would be mandated to complete a three-month DUI program. This is the most common class and is often referred to as the AB 541 class. You will have 12 hours of education sessions, 18 hours of group counseling, and three individual counseling sessions within this program.
- BAC levels over 0.20%: If you have been convicted of a DUI due to high BAC levels, then you will need to enroll in a nine-month program. The nine-month program will mandate you to attend six two-hour education classes, 22 two-hour group sessions every other week, 16 individual interview sessions, and 36 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
- Second DUI offense: Once you have been convicted of a second DUI, you will be required to complete an 18-month learning program. Specifically, this type of program will have you complete 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of drug and alcohol education, six hours of community monitoring, and bi-weekly interviews. A program like this moves away from strict DUI school teachings, and more into self-help programs, with transitioning back into a sober lifestyle.
- Multiple DUI offenses: A 30-month program will need to be completed if you have multiple DUI convictions. Within this program, you must complete 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 120-300 hours of community service, and attend regular interviews.
What Does DUI School Teach Those Convicted of DUIs?
Many of the programs for those convicted with DUIs include education and counseling aspects. Generally, the counseling will be in a group setting, but individual counseling will be required for the more extensive courses.
In terms of the education in this course, a DUI school will focus solely on drug abuse and problem drinking. Typically, a class could consist of watching videos, group discussions, or live lectures.
Due to the extent of the education aspect these programs offer, taking DUI classes online in California isn’t realistic.
What You Will Pay for a DUI School Program
A DUI program will vary by the location where you are enrolled in. For example, here are some cost calculations for DUI schools in California:
- A 12-hour program will cost around $270
- A three-month program will cost about $850
- A nine-month program will cost close to $1,850
- An 18-month program will cost anywhere from $1,900 to $2,600
- A complete 30-month program costs roughly $3,000
A down payment of $350 will be required for all programs when enrolling. However, these prices are subject to change based on the area and type of course needed.
Showing the Courts That You Are Enrolled
In order to enroll in these specific DUI school programs, you will need to present your court order or your driver’s license suspension notice from your local DMV.
The judge will require proof of enrollment to your respective class for many individuals within 21 days of sentencing. All providers will send these certificates to the DMV and the courts on your behalf.
Notifying the Courts When You Have Completed Your Program
Upon completion of your required program, you will need to show the courts that you have completed the course by a specific date. The coordinator of your course will provide you with a certificate of completion that can be presented to the courts.
The coordinators will take attendance in conjunction with course material understanding, making it imperative that classes are held in person. If you are hoping to take DUI classes online in California, it won’t be possible to complete the recommended requirements fully.
Talking to a DUI Attorney for More Information
DUI school can be confusing for some and a pervasive process. But, all hope is not lost. With the assistance of a DUI attorney in Los Angeles, you can get all the additional information you need.
If you have been charged with a DUI and are required to attend DUI but have further questions or concerns, reach out to our Los Angeles DUI lawyers today. Contact us for a free consultation.