“DUI Schools” in California

Throughout California many courts order people convicted of DUI to complete a DUI education program, or “DUI school,” as part of the convicted person’s sentence.  The Santa Rosa DUI lawyers at our firm know that this educational option is often a helpful alternative to more severe sanctions for those convicted.  At the end of the day, the goal of criminal penalties related to DUI should be preventing future infractions–not needlessly punishing those convicted–and so the DUI schools are often a far more reasonable approach to dealing with the problem.

Unfortunately, those of us working to preserve fair and common sense policies for those charged and/or convicted of drunk driving often must vigorously defend current practices against those seeking to constantly make penalties harsher and harsher.  DUI Schools are often one of the most criticized components of the current regime of penalty options.  Some claim that the school are ineffective, often because there is lack of proper attendance.

A report from one county, for example, argues that only 40 percent of those sentenced ever enrolled in the program.  One big problem might be the cost of the DUI School attendance, usually several hundred dollars.  However, most locations have programs in place so that resident can make payments.  The offenders do not need to come up with all of the funds up front.

In addition, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that those required to attend the school actually do so. For example, in Sonoma County,  in order to enroll in county’s DUI school program, offenders must attend a one-hour orientation meeting within 21 days after the date of their convictions. If an offender fails to satisfy this 21-day orientation enrollment requirement, an arrest warrant may issue. After orientation, offenders must next complete a program intake appointment, which may or may not be at the same time as orientation. Completion of an intake appointment is a requirement in order to receive a proof of enrollment certificate, which offenders need to obtain a restricted driver’s license. Program fees are $334 for the reckless driving involving alcohol program, and range from $641 to $1,645 for the DUI offender programs, depending on whether the offense is a first or repeat offense.

While the state continues to study, and contemplate, whether DUI schools are an effective way to reduce DUI recidivism, the current state of the law involves these programs in an integral way. If you are facing a DUI charge, regardless of it is your first offense or not, you will be facing, in addition to other possible penalties, DUI school if convicted. You should consult a knowledgeable DUI attorney about your case. Our Santa Rosa DUI attorneys can help you craft a defense that works for you.


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and any blogs, reviews, news or testimonials presented on www.duibecklaw.com or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California. by Attorney Daniel B. Beck