February 26, 2015 By Matthew Wallin


DUI_ClassIf you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or wet reckless in California, you will likely be required to enroll in an alcohol class or DUI education program.

DVM Hearing

When you are arrested for DUI, you will be subject to a DMV administrative hearing as well as a criminal case. Following an arrest for DUI or wet reckless, you will receive a notice of suspension of your license. If you do not request a DMV hearing within 10 days of receiving a notice of suspension, then your license will automatically be suspended within 30 days. That is why it is important that you have your attorney make that request on your behalf.

Time to Enroll

The alcohol education program is a term of probation on your criminal case. Offenders must enroll within 21 days of sentencing, and for many, the time commitment can be burdensome in addition to their already busy work and personal lives. It is possible to postpone sentencing if the court grants a continuance, which can be advantageous depending on your personal circumstances. If needed, the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you request a continuance so that DUI school will not be such a harsh burden on you.

Length and Costs of the Program

For a first offense DUI conviction, you will be required to complete a three- or nine-month court-approved alcohol and/or drug education program (AB541 class). Typically, a three-month class is required for a wet reckless charge.

If you are convicted of a second offense, you will be required to complete an 18-month or 30-month court-approved California DUI school.

For a third or fourth offense, completion of a 30-month court-approved DUI education program is required.

In sentencing, the court will consider aggravating factors as well in deciding the length of program, regardless of your number of convictions. Some of these factors include:

• Having a BAC of 0.15% or higher (less in some counties)
• Excessive speeding
• Refusing both blood and breath tests
• Causing an accident while under the influence
• Child endangerment
• Under 21 years old and under the influence
• Prior criminal history

In addition to the court fine, which ranges anywhere between $390 and $5,000, there is a cost for the program that also varies. Visit our page on court approved DUI programs for a complete list of DUI programs available in Orange County. For those outside of Orange County, be sure to check your city’s approved program list to make sure that it is licensed by the state of California.

Don’t Miss a Class

Depending on the program provider, you are permitted to miss a certain number of classes so long as you make them up. Showing up late can result in an absence as well, so be on time. If you miss too many classes, disrupt a class, or show up for a DUI class under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be expelled from the program.

Failure to complete a court-ordered DUI program will result in a violation of your probation, requiring you to appear again in front of a judge and possibly face additional penalties. At the very least, you will have to re-start the program regardless of how many classes you’ve already completed. Therefore, it is in your best interest to show up to all classes with the right attitude.

Transportation to DUI Class

With your license suspended, it is often difficult to find transportation to get to DUI class on time. First-time offenders may be able to get a restricted license that will allow them to drive to and from work and DUI class. Ask our skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich how to get a restricted license after being convicted of DUI.

Call the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one has been charged with a wet reckless or DUI, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. We will meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case, and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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