If you’re arrested for drunk driving in California, you probably already know a few things about the penalty process. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you’ll be paying stiff fines, you could go to jail, and your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time. If you’re arrested in a county with ignition interlock pilot program, you may also be required to use an ignition interlock.
Those aren’t the only penalties you’ll receive if you are arrested for drunk driving in California. You’ll also be required to attend driving under the influence (DUI) traffic school, and you may also be asked to sign up for an alcohol treatment program or a deterrent program.
Every drunk driving offender is required to attend DUI school. It’s a classroom just like you may have experienced in high school or college, but this class teaches you all about the real life consequences of drunk driving. DUI school can last anywhere from twelve hours for a wet reckless charge up to thirty months if you’ve been charged for three DUIs. While you’re attending DUI school, you can’t drink alcohol or do drugs.
DUI school may look simple in comparison to an alcohol treatment program. This is recommended by the judge if he or she believes someone has an addiction to alcohol, and judges usually reserve this treatment program for someone who is a repeat offender. The offender generally attends meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous, and the judge decides how often that person will attend.
There’s also the drunk driving deterrent program, and this is designed specifically to scare drunk driving offenders. The program is one day and it lasts for two and a half hours, and if you attend you may experience a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) who will talk to you about how their lives have been impacted by drunk driving.
The penalty process can be daunting for anyone when you’re arrested for drunk driving in California, and there’s really only one solution to avoid the fines, jail time, ignition interlock, and additional penalties: just don’t drink and drive.