What Are DUI Classes Like?
No two DUI (driving while under the influence) cases are the same. However, the punishments tend to be identical, often consisting of a court order for a probationary period and DUI classes.
Also called DWI (driving while intoxicated) classes, these education programs are required of drunk driving offenders. They must attend classes and receive a certificate of completion as an alternative to jail time.
Some cases result in the revocation of a driver's license. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles can require people convicted to complete a course before re-issuance. Sparks Law Firm can advise on questions like, "How do I challenge a DUI blood test?"
The classes must be completed within 180 days of conviction. Offenders with more than one DUI arrest follow a schedule to completion, and violating the plan can lead to further punishment.
While the court typically selects the program, the cost of DUI classes comes from the offender's pocket. Many organizations allow payment plans so that students do not have to compensate the fee in full before starting.
Although drivers convicted of a DUI are required to attend educational classes to prevent the issue from occurring again, there are some things they can consider before starting their respective courses.
The Purpose of DUI School in Texas
DUI classes help offenders recognize how alcohol affects driving skills to identify behavioral patterns and reduce the chances of driving while intoxicated again. Almost all DUI convictions require offenders to take them.
The topics covered differ based on how many times a person has been convicted of this offense. If it is a first offense, the courses have a more generalized approach. However, if this is a second DWI conviction or more, then the classes delve into treatment programs and more specific content.
What to Bring to Each DUI Class
Before walking into a DUI education class, offenders must have the following:
Social security number
Court-ordered documents for the classes
Court case number
People taking an online DUI class must submit this information before beginning instruction. In-person DUI schools require offenders to bring the documents with them.
What the Classes Teach
The subject matter for DUI classes across formats and organizations is almost identical - no matter if they are online courses or in-person. Topics vary depending on the number of drunk driving offenses a person has accumulated.
DUI Classes for First-Time Offenders
When the drunk driving offense is the first for an offender, they undergo a period of probation and must go through a DUI course. This type aims to be an education program that teaches first-time offenders how alcohol and other drugs affect their system, especially their ability to operate motor vehicles.
DUI school intends to educate transgressors on responsible drinking habits to prevent other penalties in the future. Some course-specific information includes:
How alcohol affects driving
How alcohol affects other bodily functions
Texas laws and penalties regarding a DWI
How to recognize dependency on alcohol and other substances
Making better decisions about alcohol consumption
Classes for Multiple DUI Offenders
Court-ordered DUI classes have different content because multiple convictions show that a person may be suffering from alcohol or substance abuse. As such, the DUI class tailors to help transgressors seek the help they need to avoid further issues.
Some of the instructed content in DUI education classes for offenders with multiple convictions include:
How alcohol affects the body
How alcohol involves family, friends, and loved ones
Avoiding peer pressure
How to avoid another DUI conviction
DUI Education for Minors
Anyone under the age of 21 found in possession of alcohol or consuming it must complete online classes or in-person instruction about the effects of alcohol. Due to the age demographic of the students, the course content is a little different. It typically includes these topics:
How alcohol influences making decisions and other bodily functions
Texas laws and consequences of minors consuming or purchasing alcohol
Recognizing alcohol dependency
How Much Time Classes Take and Their Cost
When it comes to time and cost, online DUI classes do not differ much from standard classes held face-to-face. This is because there are certain legal requirements, so online classes must mimic typical DUI education.
Therefore, drunk driving transgressors can expect to take as much time on their classes and pay as much with either option.
A DUI class for first-time drunk driving convictions takes 12 hours and costs between $90 and $130. Online alcohol and DUI classes allow people to absorb the information at their own pace. They can start and stop instruction when they please. However, they should be aware of the deadline for DWI classes. Failure to complete them on time can lead to further consequences.
Moreover, a DUI course for transgressors with multiple convictions is more expensive and takes more time to complete. This is because alcohol education becomes necessary as there is evidence of dependency. DWI classes cost about $300 and take 32 hours to complete. Likewise, an online class allows offenders to go at their own pace. An in-person environment usually spans multiple days with each session lasting no more than a few hours.
What Happens When DUI Offenders Do Not Complete Classes
DWI classes are necessary for most drunk driving convictions in Fort Worth, Texas. Issued by the court system, DUI school must be completed within 180 days of a guilty verdict usually.
If an offender has multiple convictions, they must complete a scheduled course over seven weeks. Nevertheless, people convicted must finish their education within the timeframe issued by the court.
If drunk drivers do not receive their certificate of completion within the designated time, they are subject to further penalties. This often means suspension of a driver's license or the prohibition of obtaining one. Completion of a DUI class allows transgressors to reinstate their full driving privileges.
Frequently Asked Questions
People convicted of a drunk driving offense may have a lot of questions about completing their required alcohol education and getting back to normal life.
Are Classes In-Person or Online?
Courses are offered both as online programs and face-to-face instruction. Most people have to take an in-person DWI class because of the court that issued the settlement. However, many offenders have the option between the two formats.
How Do Online DUI Classes Differ from In-Person Courses?
When comparing the expenses for online and in-person classes, there is not much of a difference. Additionally, the total time does not differ, as there is a legal requirement for how long the course must be.
In-person DUI courses operate like regular school practices, requiring students to be present at the designated class times. Online alcohol education classes allow students to go at their own pace. As such, internet-based teaching formats can take longer or shorter based on the determination of the student.
Is It Possible to Complete DWI Classes Before a Conviction?
Beginning a DUI class before there is a definitive conviction shows the court that an offender is taking alcohol and drug prevention education seriously. This also goes for the DUI case in general.
Transgressors who attend a class before their court appearance may be granted a lightened probation period, a reduced fine, or lessened community service. Therefore, starting early could tip the results in favor of the offender.
People who attend the course are not admitting their guilt but rather demonstrating responsibility.
Is There a Way to Avoid Taking a DUI Class?
Few scenarios allow convicted drunk drivers to avoid these classes. However, pleading guilty and serving a sentence in jail can waive the requirement. Jail time lasts between 30 and 90 days.
Winning a jury trial with the experience our DWI attorneys have can also lead to no classes. Additionally, proving the arresting police officer violated the law during the time of detention can work in an offender's favor.
Is There a Test at the End of the Class?
Students must take a test about alcohol and substance abuse at the end of their respective courses to earn the certificate of completion. Therefore, it is unwise to sleep or slack off, especially during an online alcohol education course which can be completed in the comfort of a home.
Is Participation Required for Course Completion?
Some courses may require students to participate in conversation during an alcohol and drug class. However, many do not.
Though this is not a requirement, students should still pay attention to get the most out of the course. Subsequently, they can do better on the final test and pass with confidence.
The Bottom Line
A judge usually requires drunk driving offenders to take a class to serve their punishment. While it seems like an extra obligation, many people get a lot from it, and it ultimately works in their favor. Sparks Law Firm can also answer questions like, "Why would a DUI case go to trial?"
Even though DUI courses are a necessary part of sentencing, some issuances may not be completely fair. When this happens, offenders concerned with the outcome of their case should have a trusted lawyer on their side.
Call the trusted team at Sparks Law Firm in Fort Worth, Texas, for questions and concerns about a case!