In addition to the DMV requiring a DUI program to reinstate driving privileges, the court will also require completion of a DUI program as part of the sentence for a DUI conviction. One of the most common questions I get regarding a DUI sentence has to do with how long a person must attend a DUI program. The answer really depends on the facts of the case and whether a person has prior DUI convictions.
If a person under the age of 18 is convicted for a first-time DUI, they might be required to attend AB803. AB803 is a 12 hour course taken over the course of six weeks.
If a person is convicted of a first-time California “wet reckless,” they may be required to attend SB1176. SB1176 is also a 12 hour program taken over the course of six weeks. A reduction of a California DUI to a wet reckless does not necessarily mean that a person will get AB1176. It is possible that a longer program will be required by the court. It should also be noted that if a person’s license is suspended by the DMV, the DMV will require at least a three-month program for that person to reinstate their driver’s license.
If a person is convicted of a first-time California DUI and their blood alcohol content was between 0.08 percent and 0.14 percent and the case does not involve any particularly aggravating facts, they may be required to attend the most common of DUI programs; AB541. AB541 is a three-month program intended for first-time California DUI offenses.
If, however, a first time California DUI involves a blood alcohol content between 0.15 percent and 0.19 percent, a person could be required to attend AB762. AB762 is a six month program usually to be attended once a week for two hours.
If a person has a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent or more or their case involves other aggravating facts, they may be required to take at least a nine-month program. AB1353 is the nine-month program and usually consists of 60 class time hours.
A second California DUI conviction, including a “wet reckless,” within ten years will require SB38 which is an 18-month program.
For the worst of DUI convictions, the court may require SB1365. SB1365 is a 30-month program and is usually required when a person suffers two or more California DUI related convictions within ten years or when the case involves particularly aggravating facts such as an extremely high BAC level. SB1365 is only offered in Los Angeles County and Stanislaus County.
The information provided above is merely a guideline as to which programs will most likely be required. Notwithstanding the information above, the program that will be required will depend on the discretion of the court and the plea bargaining of the attorneys. For example, a plea bargain may involve a reduction to a California “wet reckless” in exchange for a longer DUI program such as AB762 or AB1353. Or, for example, say a person’s BAC is 0.10 percent and they cause a collision, the judge may require a longer program than AB541.