Mandatory Alcohol Education Programs Following DUI Convictions

Following a conviction for driving under the influence in California, you can expect to face a range of penalties that can be very restrictive and costly. You may be ordered to pay fines and court costs. You might also have to serve a jail sentence and have your driver’s license suspended for a specified amount of time. Many drivers are also ordered to install and pay for ignition interlock devices on every vehicle they own.

After your license is suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you’ll also need to obtain and pay for an SR22 from your insurance company. In addition to all of these costs, there are additional expenses about which many people are unaware. One of these involves being ordered to attend mandatory alcohol education courses.


Following a conviction for driving under the influence, people in Orange County should expect that the judge will order them to attend and complete an alcohol education program. First-time DUI offenders may be ordered to attend one of three programs. The programs depend on the person’s blood alcohol concentration, and include the following:

  • The 36-hour program, which lasts for three months;
  • The 44-hour program, which lasts for six months; or
  • The 60-hour program, which lasts for nine months.

The different programs generally meet on a weekly basis. People who are attending the first-offender alcohol education programs may obtain a restricted driver’s license. They will be able to use it to drive to and from their mandatory classes and to and from their jobs. People with second or subsequent DUI convictions must attend an 18-month program. Courts can choose to order third-time offenders to attend a program lasting as long as 30 months.


Simply attending the required courses is not sufficient. Attendees are expected to actively participate. You can expect to attend one three-hour course each week, and the process can be exhausting, time-consuming and expensive. For the 36-hour program for first offenders, you can expect the following:

  • 10 alcohol education and group sessions lasting three hours once a week
  • At least 3 face-to-face case manager meetings lasting at least 15 minutes each
  • Six self-help sessions


Being charged with driving under the influence in Orange County can obviously be extremely expensive. If you retain the attorney with Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County’s Leading DUI defense law firm of Scott D. Henry, you may be able to secure a better outcome that is also less costly. Mr. Henry is the leading criminal defense lawyer for driving under the influence offenses in the region. He will analyze your case and then advise you regarding the most appropriate tactics to take in your case. In some cases, Attorney Henry may be able to get your charges dismissed completely or reduced to a lesser offense.

If you have already been convicted of driving under the influence, Mr. Henry may still be able to help you with certain issues. For example, if you are an out-of-state resident who was convicted in Orange County of driving under the influence, he may be able to file a motion with the court asking the judge to accept an equivalent program in your state in lieu of the mandatory attendance in California’s alcohol education programs. If you are currently facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, call us today so we can help you with your case.

Our Locations
Attorney Scott Henry: Criminal & DUI Defense