There are 6 different Alcohol Education programs in California that can either be ordered as a condition of probation with a DUI conviction or can be required to be completed as a term of probation for various other, usually driving or alcohol-related convictions. After a Driving under the influence conviction, the DMV will often require completion of the AB 541 or SB 38 program prior to re-issuance of the driver’s license. Additionally, if your license is suspended after an APS hearing (and you don’t want to wait out a suspension), you can get a restricted license but enrollment into a “driving under the influence” program is required prior to getting a restricted license.
Here, I summarized and listed the programs below from the easiest to the hardest. Most of the programs are offered by private commercial entities and thus vary in price and format. Out of 472 licensed DUI programs in 58 California Counties, some are better! Los Angeles DUI Attorneys will not only fight to get you the easiest of the programs or no program at all but will also recommend which program to take and which to avoid.
What Alcohol Education Program Do I need to do after a DUI in Los Angeles?
SB 1176 – WET RECKLESS PLEA
SB 1176 is the easiest alcohol education program and is commonly ordered as a term of probation after a “wet reckless” plea. This program is not available after a DUI conviction because by law a DUI conviction has to be accompanied by a more rigorous program. The only requirement to complete an SB 1176 program is the completion of a 12-hour “educational component” of the first offender AB 541 DUI program.
AB 541 – FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM
AB 541 program is required to be completed as a term of the probation for a first offense driving under the influence conviction with a blood alcohol concentration below .20% and where the defendant did not refuse to take the chemical test after the arrest. In Los Angeles County AB 541 is 3 months long and consists of 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 18 hours of group counseling, and 3 individual counseling sessions.
AB 762 – is a Six Months “First Time Offender Program With Excessive Blood Alcohol Concentration or a Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test.
Sometimes the prosecutor will offer it as a part of the plea, however, legally, there is no requirement to participate in it because AB 762 was replaced by a 9-month program known as AB 1353. So now AB 762 is mainly used as a plea bargain tool to avoid a 9-month program. AB 762 consists of 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 36 hours of group counseling, and 4 individual counseling sessions.
AB 1353 – First Time Offender With an Excessive Blood Alcohol Concentration or a Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test
AB 1353 is yet another variation of a first-time DUI offender program. A previously used six-month AB 762 program was replaced by this program on September 20, 1995. In addition to all of the requirements that a six-month program has, this program has an additional 10 hours of group counseling and 9 additional individual counseling sessions making this program a 60-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program.
SB 38 – A MULTIPLE OFFENDER PROGRAM
For anyone who has more than one DUI within ten years counting from the date of the offense to the date of the offense, the court, upon a conviction may order an 18-month program, also known as SB 38. SB 38 consists of 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 52 hours of group counseling, 26 individual counseling sessions during the first 12 months of the program, and 6 one-hour community reentry monitoring sessions of one session per month during the last 6 months of the 18-month period.
Los Angeles County is one of the few counties that offer a 30-month program. The 30-month program is discretionary with the courts and is an alternative sentence under a 3rd offense DUI sentencing scheme. The program requirements are 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol and drug education, 120-300 hours of community service, and close and regular individual interviews.
Each Alcohol Education Program is a bargaining tool in a DUI prosecution. For example, a 30-month Alcohol Education Program is a part of a 30/30 program where a defendant instead of being sentenced to 120 days in the county jail will only spend 30 days in the county jail and complete a 30-month program. Contact (818) 921 7744 Los Angeles DUI Attorney now for a free consultation about your DUI case. We provide quality representation at an affordable price.
COVID UPDATE: Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, a person who enrolled in a driving under the influence program had to attend the program in person. This would usually mean weekly classes with a group or individual sessions. Now, due to the pandemic, many DUI program providers offer “online” classes through Zoom, etc. California Department of Health approved some programs for “online” only courses. This is a great benefit for those who are unable to travel or live in another state.
- QUESTIONS: IS COURT REFERRAL REQUIRED TO COMPLETE AN ALCOHOL PROGRAM;
- ANSWER: NO, THE LAW PERMITS ENROLMENT INTO AN ALCOHOL PROGRAM WITH A DMV RECORD SHOWING A DUI ARREST ON RECORD. This law is found in Tile 9 of California Code of Regulation section 9498.