Getting a DUI is bad enough but being ordered to attend a long term alcohol education class is no fun either. When a first offender gets convicted of a drunk driving offense the judge has 3 options for sentencing. the first is what is known as an AB541 class or a 3month alcohol, driving under the influence school. the ab541 program consists of classroom instruction, AA meetings, one on one counseling and group meetings. The class is probably one of the largest types of DWI programs offered in the state. The 3 month program has approximately 32 hours of instruction and cannot be completed earlier without a judges order. A court can give a probationer a order that he or she can complete the program sooner, this is called an order for the “accelerated program”. In Torrance Criminal Court, many judges will not authorize this type of sentence without a compelling reason to do so.
The second type of DUI school is the 6 month or AB762 DUI school. This particular class consists of about 60 hours of counseling that is very similar to the ab541 but more intensive. the 6 month program is usually ordered when the offender’s blood alcohol level is above a .15 bac but below a .20 percent. When a judge order this class the person has typically 8 months to complete it and can get extensions if necessary. Getting an extension to complete a DUI program in the Torrance Court is not easy. Some judges believe that you should take the class seriously and unless there is some medical reason for not completing it within the allotted time then the person should be sanctioned for not completing it. Additional community service or an extending out of the probationary term from 36 months is often considered when a judge is asked to give an extension to finish the dui class.
The last type of dui school in California for first time offenders is the 9 month class. This is a 90 hour program and it is ordered as part of probation when a person has a blood alcohol level of higher than .20 percent bac. An additional 10 month restricted license is also a part of the program which is a mandatory part of the school that the dmv imposes as a condition of getting a restricted license after a DUI conviction in Court. The 9 month alcohol program is the most severe punishment the courts hand down as it relates to schools. It must be reiterated however that just because a person has a blood alcohol level of a .20 or higher does not automatically mean he or she will be required to complete a 9 month dui school. A criminal lawyer can often negotiate a lower sentence with the D.A. and the court as part of the plea bargain process.