Everything You Need to Know About DUI Traffic School in California

If you’re convicted of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in California, you might be required to attend DUI traffic school as part of your sentencing. DUI traffic school, also known as DUI school, is designed to educate individuals about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and to prevent future DUI offenses.

What exactly does traffic school entail?  In this article, we will discuss the details of DUI traffic school in California, including the associated costs, the circumstances that may lead to attendance, and the possibility of failing the program.

What Does DUI Traffic School Entail?

DUI traffic school in California typically consists of classroom instruction, counseling, and group discussions led by certified professionals. The curriculum addresses the effects of alcohol and drugs on driving performance, the legal consequences of DUI, and strategies for avoiding future DUI offenses. The goal of DUI traffic school is to help offenders understand the risks associated with impaired driving and to promote responsible behavior on the road.

The length and requirements of DUI traffic school vary depending on the severity of the DUI offense and any prior DUI convictions. In California, there are several different DUI school programs, including:

  1. Wet Reckless Program (12 hours): For individuals convicted of reckless driving with alcohol involved.
  2. First Offender Program (30 or 45 hours): For first-time DUI offenders.
  3. 18-Month Program (78 hours): For second and subsequent DUI offenders.
  4. 30-Month Program (144 hours): For multiple DUI offenders with three or more convictions.

What Are the Costs Involved?

The costs of DUI traffic school vary depending on the program you are required to attend and the specific school you choose. As of 2023, fees typically range from $200 to $2,000 or more. It’s essential to note that these fees are separate from any fines, court costs, or other penalties associated with a DUI conviction. In some cases, individuals may qualify for reduced fees or payment plans based on financial need, so it’s always worth investigating those options.

How Does One End Up Being Made to Take Traffic School?

Attendance at DUI traffic school is usually ordered by the court as part of a defendant’s sentence following a DUI conviction. Judges have discretion in determining whether to require DUI traffic school, but it is commonly mandated for first-time and repeat offenders. In some cases, completing DUI traffic school may be a condition of probation or a way to reduce fines or other penalties. Individuals convicted of “wet reckless” may also be required to attend DUI traffic school, albeit a shorter program.

Keep in mind that California considers itself a “zero tolerance state” when it comes to convicting a DUI charge. No matter how minor the infraction, there will be material consequences, which can include traffic school, additional fines, license suspension, and jail time. 

Can You Fail Traffic School?

Yes, it is possible to fail DUI traffic school in California. Factors that may lead to failure include:

  • Missing too many classes or sessions.
  • Failing to participate actively in discussions and activities.
  • Not completing any required assignments or exams.
  • Demonstrating a lack of understanding or commitment to the program’s objectives.

Failure to complete DUI traffic school may result in a violation of probation, additional fines, or other legal consequences. It’s essential to take the program seriously and fulfill all requirements to avoid further legal issues.

What You’ve Learned

DUI traffic school in California plays a crucial role in educating offenders about the dangers of impaired driving and reducing the likelihood of future DUI offenses. The costs and time commitments associated with DUI traffic school may be burdensome, but completing the program can be a crucial step toward rehabilitation and avoiding more severe legal consequences. If you’re facing a DUI charge in California, it’s essential to consult with a qualified DUI attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the legal process.

For a free consultation with a qualified DUI attorney, fill out the questionnaire at the top of this page or call (800) 384-5297.