Anyone convicted of a DUI offense in California must complete a DUI education program as part of his or her sentence. Although the length of the course may vary, the lessons taught are often very similar.
Introduction: Types of DUI Education Classes
First time DUI offenders would typically be required to complete either the three month (AB 541), six month (AB 762) or nine month (AB 1353) course. Someone with previous DUI convictions may have to take the 18 month (SB 38) or 30 month (SB 1365) class as a condition of probation.
Improved Decision Making
The DUI education class stresses the need to make better life decisions and avoid future situations that would lead to DUI incidents. The class will often provide students with various scenarios and help guide them in making the correct and responsible choice. Learning how to make better decisions helps people avoid future situations in which they may become a danger to themselves or others by engaging in impaired driving.
While the DUI class does not condone drinking, it understands that people will engage in alcohol use and thus teaches responsible drinking. This includes always having a back-up plan in place to avoid situations where one would have to drive while intoxicated. The class also teaches about the dangers of binge drinking and that one may feel that they are sober enough drive when in reality they impaired and should stay off the road.
Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
In many cases, people who have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicant may take stock of their lives and the people influencing them. The DUI education class teaches students to evaluate their social circle and try to eliminate bad influences. Often people making bad decisions have surrounded themselves with others who enable them and their risky behavior. People trying to get control of their drinking will learn to surround themselves with positive influences who will offer support and help them make responsible decisions.
Knowing Your Triggers
The DUI education class also helps students explore the reasons behind their alcohol use and what may have triggered the behavior that resulted in a DUI conviction. Students are encouraged through classes and counselling sessions to identify the triggers in their life and learn how to avoid activating these triggers.
The Risks of Future DUI Offenses
One of the key lessons taught in all DUI education classes is that driving under the influence is inherently dangerous and can result in serious injury and death to other people. Participants are often shown grisly crime scene photos from DUI collisions and hear testimonials from people who have lost family members and loved ones to drunk drivers. The participant may hear from people who were convicted of DUI murder or manslaughter and learn how their decision to drive drunk completely altered their lives. In addition, the student will learn that any future DUI offense that results in the death of another person could result in murder charges.
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