DC DUI Classes
There are a variety of alcohol education programs and DUI classes available in DC, some of which are run by court agencies or private non-profit organizations, while others are connected with hospitals or health insurance companies. Depending on the specific facts of an individual’s case they may be required to take one of these courses, or may be advised to do so by their DC DUI lawyer under certain circumstances. To learn more or discuss the benefit of a DUI class in your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Enrolling in a DUI Class
When a person is first arrested for a DUI, they are scheduled for an arraignment to appear before a judge about three weeks later. At their arraignment, the judge may issue conditions that the defendant must comply with in exchange for being released while their case is pending.
In almost every DUI case, the arraignment judge orders the defendant to undergo an alcohol assessment by the court’s Pretrial Services Agency (PSA). The alcohol assessment is not considered to be a punishment for the case and is not considered to be evidence of a person’s guilt. However, it does require the defendant to answer questions to the court’s PSA about their alcohol consumption and about other substances they may consume.
Based on that assessment, pretrial services could recommend that a defendant enroll in an alcohol or drug education or treatment program. If pretrial services makes that recommendation, the judge orders the person to follow the recommendation and enroll in a program. So a defendant may be ordered to attend a DC DUI class by the court.
Can You Voluntarily Enroll in An Alcohol Program?
A person charged with driving under the influence can go to a DUI education or treatment program voluntarily in some circumstances. There are certain DC DUI class programs that require a court order, but there are many others run by private non-profits, hospitals, or health insurance companies that allow a person to voluntarily enroll in their program following an alcohol assessment that recommends entry into a treatment program.
Even if a person does not have a specific court requirement to enroll in an alcohol education program, it can sometimes be to their benefit to voluntarily enroll. Doing so is not considered an admission of guilt, and could be helpful in showing the judge or prosecutor that the person is taking their case seriously.
What Takes Place During DUI Courses
Most first offender DUI courses in Washington DC consist of group sessions where a treatment or education specialist discusses alcohol consumption and the effect alcohol has on a person’s ability to drive or conduct other tasks. These courses often consist of group discussions, as well as worksheets and questionnaires to facilitate the group’s discussions.
In addition, there are also online DUI courses but these are typically not accepted by the courts, prosecutors, or the court supervision agencies. Therefore if a person wants to enroll in a DUI education or treatment course, they should enroll in an in-person program as opposed to an online course.
DC DUI Group Therapy
DUI group discussion topics center on the circumstances in which people drink and drive. The discussions focus on how consuming alcohol or drugs, or a combination of alcohol, drugs, and possibly medication affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. These discussions may include how different people process alcohol differently as well as the social and psychological factors that contribute to people drinking and driving.
Differences Between Traffic School and a DUI Educational Program
In many DUI cases, judges or prosecutors may require a defendant to enroll in a traffic safety program similar to a defensive driver course. These traffic safety programs are not the same as alcohol education programs or a DC DUI class, because they discuss the laws of the road and proper defensive driving techniques. They cover different subjects from alcohol education programs, which are often required in conjunction with the traffic safety program as part of a defendant’s DUI case.