Drunk Driving Education Courses for DUI and DWI

Last Updated: May 13, 2021 |
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If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may need to complete drunk driving education courses, also known as DUI school or alcohol education programs. Similar to defensive driving courses, drunk driving education is most often used to reduce an offender’s sentencing or penalties. Drunk driving courses are designed to educate the offender to become a more safe, responsible driver and to reduce the likelihood that the driver will attempt drunk driving or impaired driving again in the future.

Why You Need Drunk Driving Education

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you may need to or be required to take defensive driving or alcohol education courses. They may be part of your sentencing or probation and may help you have your driving privileges restored. In many states, alcohol education is required before your license can be returned. Some of the reasons students take DUI or drunk driving education courses include:

In addition to drunk driving education, you may be required to undergo alcohol treatment to fulfill sentencing, probation conditions or to get your driver’s license back.

Are You Eligible for Drunk Driving Education?

DUI school or drunk driving education is a lot like defensive driving courses. While many offenders will be eligible for reducing fines and penalties by taking the courses, not all are eligible to do so. While some states have mandatory drunk driving education laws, it depends on each judge’s assessment in other states. A judge may consider the following information when deciding whether to include drunk driving education in your sentence for penalty reduction:

Drunk Driving Courses Available

There are different levels of drunk driver education, depending on the level of severity of your offense. A 20-year-old first time offender with a blood alcohol content of .085 is likely to have a shorter educational requirement than an offender with multiple DUIs and/or a serious accident. Drunk driving course levels typically include:

What You’ll Learn in Drunk Driving Education Courses

Often, drunk driving courses include both an assessment and intervention. In the assessment, you will be screened to evaluate your alcohol use and its impact on your driving. In intervention, you will receive group education and counseling about alcohol and drug use and how it affects driving. This typically includes:

Tips for DUI Offenders

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, chances are it’s a good idea to take a drunk driving education course. But that’s not all you need to consider. We asked attorney Jared Staver to share his advice for those convicted of a DUI.

“If you been convicted of a DUI, you certainly should not drink and drive again,” advises Staver. He warns that a second or subsequent DUI will typically come with even greater penalties in each state.

The best way to avoid another DUI is to simply not drunk and drive again. “If you have been drinking, make sure you have a designated sober driver who can take you home or take a cab,” says Staver. “The cost of a cab ride is far less than risking your life and everyone else’s.”

In addition to taking DUI education courses, you should also consider taking a defensive driving course. Elective defensive driving courses typically result in an insurance discount between 5% and 15%, which can help if your insurance rate has skyrocketed after receiving a DUI conviction. Defensive driving course discounts are typically offered for three years, after which you’ll need to retake the course.

Staver also advises investigating whether your state allows for expungements or criminal records sealing for first-time DUIs. “Since a DUI is a criminal offense in the majority of states, a conviction will put a mark on your permanent criminal record,” says Staver. “This could impact your employment (current and future), ability to rent an apartment or other property, jeopardize any professional licensures you may have or wish to acquire, or negatively impact educational opportunities.”

How to Find a Drunk Driving Education Program

Ready to start your drunk driving education course? Our top recommendation for online drunk driving courses is My Court Class!